Canada's Fairfax offers to acquire BlackBerry in $4.7bn deal

Canada's Fairfax offers to acquire BlackBerry in $4.7bn deal

BlackBerry had been looking for a buyer

A consortium led by Canada's Fairfax Financial Holdings has offered to acquire struggling smartphone maker BlackBerry.

The proposed deal, which is supported by BlackBerry's board of directors, values the company at US$4.7 billion.

Fairfax already owns about 10 percent of BlackBerry stock and would acquire the remainder for $9 per share and take the company private under the terms of a letter of intent. BlackBerry stock was trading at around $8.25 when the deal was announced.

But for the deal to be completed, the consortium has to complete due diligence. That's expected to end around Nov. 4, and until then the deal could still fall apart or have the terms of the acquisition changed.

The letter of intent allows BlackBerry to keep talking with other potential investors before a final deal is signed with the Fairfax consortium.

(More to follow.)

Martyn Williams covers mobile telecoms, Silicon Valley and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Martyn on Twitter at @martyn_williams. Martyn's e-mail address is

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Tags business issuesBlackberryconsumer electronicssmartphonesFairfax Financial HoldingsMergers and acquisitions

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