BlackBerry Plans To Go Private In $4.7B Deal With Fairfax Financial Holdings

Investors would receive $9 a share — less than BlackBerry sold for last week before it announced on Friday that it plans to slash 4,500 jobs, about 40% of its total work force. In an unexpected early release of earnings results the company also reported a nearly $1B loss for its fiscal Q2. The disclosures sent BlackBerry shares down 17.1% on Friday. They fell another 5.6% today to $8.23 before trading was halted ahead of the news about the deal. Fairfax Financial already owns 10% of BlackBerry, making it the largest shareholder. BlackBerry has until November 4 to find another buyer, although investors appear skeptical that a rival offer will top Fairfax’s: After trading reopened today, BlackBerry’s stock price settled at about $8.82. The phone company indicated in August that it might seek a buyer after investors lost faith in its effort with BlackBerry 10 — the platform it introduced with great fanfare in January — to regain the market share that the company has lost to Apple and phones that run Google’s Android operating system. BlackBerry had 4.3% of the U.S. market in the three months ending in July, down from 9.5% in the same period last year, according to comScore MobiLens data.

Here’s today’s release about the deal: (more…)

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