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BlackBerry announces a $4.7b bid from Fairfax Financial, still ‘entitled to go-shop’ for other offers

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A press release has just confirmed the news that a ‘consortium led by Fairfax Financial’ has agreed to purchase the Waterloo-based company for $4.7 billion. Fairfax already owns about 10% of the BlackBerry.

BlackBerry has signed a letter of intent that gives way to Fairfax Financial to take the company private and offer up current BlackBerry shareholders $9 per share (USD) in cash for their stock. Of course, there’s much due diligence and regulatory approvals to be completed, but is expected to be a done deal by November 4th – which is right inline with the November sale as previously rumoured.

It’s also important to note that Fairfax has not secured the complete funding amount. The release stated that they are still ‘seeking financing from BofA Merrill Lynch and BMO Capital Markets.’

Prem Watsa, Chairman and CEO of Fairfax and previous BlackBerry Board Member, stated “We believe this transaction will open an exciting new private chapter for BlackBerry, its customers, carriers and employees. We can deliver immediate value to shareholders, while we continue the execution of a long-term strategy in a private company with a focus on delivering superior and secure enterprise solutions to BlackBerry customers around the world.”

However, the press release also noted that during the due diligence period they are ‘entitled to go-shop’ around for other deals. Barbara Stymiest, Chair of BlackBerry’s Board of Directors, said “The Special Committee is seeking the best available outcome for the Company’s constituents, including for shareholders. Importantly, the go-shop process provides an opportunity to determine if there are alternatives superior to the present proposal from the Fairfax consortium.”

BlackBerry recently announced plans to cut 4,500 jobs.

Source: MarketWire

  • Lexcyn

    That was quick.

    • Edgar Gionet

      That’s what she said

    • Balls O’Steele

      They’re grasping at anything. At least shareholders will get $9

    • Balls O’Steele

      Thorsten has just Won the $55 MM lottery!

    • Plazmic Flame

      Damn, forgot about that. I think Heinz is going to Disneyland!!

    • 01011001001

      he should go to disney, instead of trying to run a tech company.

    • J-Ro

      If he went to Disney, he would only be in it for the ears. That guy didn’t really do anything that stood out with BBRY.

    • PT

      They need a clown bably there. LOL!

    • 01011001001

      lol, yeah if you’re a shareholder 9 is better than 8.25 or whatever it was trading at before it was announced.

    • Ali F.

      I could’ve done thorsten hit for as cheap as $1000. This clear ripoff, stealing, name it. How could this happen.

    • Balls O’Steele

      Fairfax overpaid. What are they thinking?

    • Heywood Jablome

      They wanted to buy a BlackBerry outright without signing a two-year contract

    • DickGozinya

      Lol

    • RG

      Lol

    • 01011001001

      fairfax just paid about right, if I am a shareholder of BB I’m getting screwed. There’s no premium being paid to BB shareholders at all.

    • jroc

      You actually think that?

      You realize that BBRY has no debt and about $3B of cash on hand, cash that FFH will acquire if/when the sale goes through. They’re basically paying $1.7B for the remainder of the company.

    • phreezerburn

      Either selling off patents earns them more in the long haul or you look to who else Fairfax has a stake in and is sitting on the board of…

    • Supa_Fly

      There is a HELL of a lot more worth than just patents at BB.

      Think of how much $$ is parting off Nortel Networks equaled to. BB has just as robust a network with over 201 providers globally – that’s more than just an APN/GGSN, along with M2M business ready to launch and the biggest infrastructure for it for so many lucrative business.

      I expect a shareholder await to come of this soon enough.

    • dickgozinya

      Yeah, because their robust network is so great it crunched through the bbm roll out with ease over the weekend. Gimme a break.

    • Supa_Fly

      Overpaid? They haven’t bought ANYTHING YET! Funding for the full 4.7Billion is still underway from partners. Also 2.9 Billion in cash reserves hasn’t been equated … the outstanding and existing shares being held by investors is more than $9/share at 4.7 Billion dollars. Do your math.

    • Plazmic Flame

      This is great. This is one of the “good” scenarios for BlackBerry. They can go back to how they were functioning back in the glory days which was just working on secuirty and communication in the Enterprise sector. They can also end the trolling by the media.

      I think this saved them and we will see a Second Coming of BlackBerry when they get some good people in the ranks that match up to the likes of Cook, Ive and Ferrari (yes, that’s what I call him because I can’t spell his name). As long as they release BBM X-Platform, I’m good. The legacy will live on…

    • phreezerburn

      Right now there is an untapped NEW market for an actual SECURE handset for the very corporations and governments the American Wall Street/Financial Vultures have been picking apart for decades.

      Warren Buffet and Dirty Ol George Soros are geniuses? Right… Who couldn’t make bank on having next week’s news paper today?

  • JB

    Called It!

    Takes a bow.

    • DickGozinya

      Want a cookie? You called the most obvious thing possible. However, you also said that nothing else has or will change. We all know that’s complete BS. Good job Chief, you might get to keep your job now. Might.

    • JB

      A cookie would be nice…thank you.

  • Rich

    Shareholders are so battered and bruised they might just take anything at this point.

    • JB

      And they should. This just not only saved Blackberry, but breathed new life into it. Perm Watsa just saved a pile of jobs, and can implement better management. This is a good thing.

    • Tony Sarju

      None of what you just said is certain. Only time will tell what happens.

    • Supa_Fly

      Nothing is certain in the public knowledge only those working not he deal know what is. However JB is right with his statement above with new management and with shareholders SHOULD just take the $$ and bow out gracefully … loss or gain. If their stupid enough to fight they’ll end of with a WHOLE lot less as time progresses.

  • J-Ro

    The stocks dropped below $9 just before the deal was proposed. Lol not a good time for the ones that sold too early.

    • JB

      How many times did I say it was fairfax taking them private haha…..people shoukd have listened.

    • J-Ro

      Lol those people are now kicking themselves. I bought just below $9 and held out till now, so I’m happy. :D

    • JB

      Right on man!

    • jroc

      No offence, but why would you be happy? If you bought just below $9 you’re going to make next to no money on the deal.

      I mean, if you bought on Friday at approx $8/share it would be a decent 12% return, but unless you bought in large volume your commission costs would wipe out a chunk as well.

    • J-Ro

      I bought in bulk and the money I used to buy is now going against my taxable income. That makes up for the commission cost.

    • nig gie

      next time buy Gold, or any other metal, sell private and dont pay taxes.. no one needs to know you ho.

    • J-Ro

      Lol the price of gold is quite a bit higher than prices in the stock market. I would rather buy gold to wear from my earnings.

    • Supa_Fly

      I bought at $11 and cashed out at $12 just a few months back. only 2 shares.

    • J-Ro

      With only 2 shares, you had to just be getting your wick wet in trading.

      If any money can be made on 2 shares, the initial investment and dividend must be amazing.

  • brararsh

    Where is the BBM App?? Will it be released or not as all this is happening really quick..

    • Super_Deluxe

      Lol don’t hold your breath man. A few days is about a month in Blackberry time. Good thing I didn’t get my hopes up.

    • BB BB

      Coming to a Google play store near you on Nov 4th 2014

  • Super_Deluxe

    So does this mean better things are to come from BB now that they’re sold is it just that 10% that’s sold to Fairfax?

  • Heywood Jablome

    They could have bought it for $1.3 billion on a two year contract

    • nig gie

      you win

  • Jamma

    About time

  • MrHrvat

    I’ve been watching RIM die for years and now that it’s finally here its bittersweet. The company deserves to go under. Hopefully we get Google or MS to invest in the hole this is going to create

    • J-Ro

      They are going private, not bankrupt. Going private could actually help them get the company back in order.

    • 01011001001

      have patience to those who don’t understand the difference between a public and private company.

    • hardy83

      Don’t have patience. People love comment on topics they have zero knowledge in.

      Just bash what is the current “hate on” and hope for some thumbs up to make you feel good inside. lol

    • 01011001001

      I agree. thumbs up from me.

    • phreezerburn

      This. There’s now a market for an actually secure handset. The EU is already pouring over shorting and such from American companies who have access to the very politico who made themselves immune from prosecution for insider trading. I can’t believe anyone swallowed that line “Sure we scooped up corporate “eyes only” data… but we didn’t inhale!” – NSA Propaganda Czar.

    • J-Ro

      The NSA is a different ball game all together. I they have the ability to see everything. As more information leaks out about them, it shows how much snooping they actually do. But I know the NSA isn’t the only one doing some snooping. I am much more worried about the guys doing it so well, we don’t even know they exist.

    • phreezerburn

      The NSA was the “scary guy” as it has already hit that the crypto they helped standardize had a skeleton key before it was put forward as a security measure. The Snowden thing is so much bigger than any credit in North American Media. There was a journal on IRC which eventually became “The Poison” moderated by Lord Oak and this very subject was written of at length. That was almost two decades ago. Back then all the IRC on such was via St Petersburg and Oslo. You could get anything on the back end of City Lights.

      The scary bit for me is now I’m certain that the “stocks game” is rigged. Jamie Diamond likely has a higher security clearance than Edward Snowden ever had within the NSA apparatus.

    • J-Ro

      It is very disturbing knowing that a agency has so much sensitive information. It is even more disturbing to think of how long and how many secrets they have collected over the years.

    • whatever

      No, they’re going to die. Watch very closely now.

    • Sean-Paul

      Why does the company deserve to go under? Please explain. I don’t see how the future of this company affects your daily dealings in life. You must have been totally jaded by the company in some way. We’re you violated by them some how?

    • MrHrvat

      lol keep jerking off bud
      they peaked with the 9000 and struggled to catch-up since.

    • Sean-Paul

      Ha ha ha good responsebuddy. It just goes to show that you really must have violated yourself with a blackberry device and was upset that it didn’t love you back. Actually go use a BB10 device. They actually are nice. Just don’t stick it somewhere where it’s not supposed to go

    • J-Ro

      If it isn’t in the user manual, It is likely gonna happen. With all those vibrating apps now, it is no wonder people like their phones bigger.

    • JV

      LOL you understand they are being bought out by an Insurance company right?? These are the facts, no matter how much you enjoy your platform and your phone. The facts are hear. The board and those powers that be and are able to accept this deal all stand to make much more money if they sell the company and get fired. Thorn stands to Make 55 million if he sells the company and gets fired, and if he simply sells the company he stands to make 22 million. The entire board will make a little more then double what they would have if the simply sell the company and move forward. Now being the Company that has managed to inspire an entire Exodus from their platforms to others (the reason why a BMM4ALL would have been so popular, had they not Yet again broken their promises and screwed up). They have failed in the public’s eyes, and are seen as a failure to many people and academics. With all this, I’m sure everyone on that board is more then happy to sell off the company to someone who is not even in the industry but can manage to buy the company and part it off piece by piece and sell each of those pieces to the highest bidder. When looking at these Facts the more likely scenario is that this sale is the final chapter in this struggling bumbling company that was once great. Soon this company will be in Various academic text books as a case study and warning to business students, So i Hope you enjoyed your BB10 Device. Just so you now you bet on the wrong team. i would start shopping for a new platform now.

    • J-Ro

      You know, 10 years ago, someone like you must have said the same thing about Apple. If the company is putting up a fight, they won’t disappear into thin air. They clearly had a plan from the beginning. Everything is happening too quickly to be just a coincidence. I wouldn’t be surprised if Lazaridis comes back as CEO and builds it back up to what it once was.

    • nig gie

      Also these Canadian CACKMICE tried to take on Apple… How dare they.

      Next time leave the $$$ to the big boys and go back to where you makin da money, like India and Iran .. be content with the chump change…

      I hope they fire %90 of the employees… fuk your couch

    • Supa_Fly

      You’re right RIM did die. Nobody said this deal which is STILL pending means BlackBerry will die. There is just so much that you’re unsure of or myself or anyone not part of the deal and decision making process. I’m very curious what happens to the value of the stock or if this halts trading due to it being so close already (before the announcement) to $9.

    • Helios

      “I’ve been watching RIM struggle for years and now that they’ve gone private maybe something will change.”

      Fixed that for you.

  • Charles Sloane

    I do think that by the company going private they won’t be thrown around as much by earnings reports and stock market pundits. It’s like a bunch of grade school kids picking on the weakest kid in the class. Who wants to buy a product from a company getting slammed?

    • jroc

      They won’t be thrown around by earning reports or the market at all…their stock won’t be traded, and they don’t have to release earnings. Hence, private company.

    • phreezerburn

      People forget that RIM had to open the door for government security types. Sure the others said they did too but the tell is that the Cartel’s were using BB and not any other handset yet still remained ahead of the DEA etc… until they were let in, that is. Now with all the jiggery-pokery of the US/UK government coming to light and the allegations of corporate espionage by a politico that made itself immune from prosecution for corporate espionage and using the data captured, there is indeed a legitimate market for a SECURE handset/infrastructure. That new market IS worth billions.

    • Charles Sloane

      Isn’t that what I just said? Your comment doesn’t smack of condescending superiority at all.

    • jroc

      You said it wouldn’t get thrown around “as much”, which implies that it will still be thrown around in some capacity.

    • J-Ro

      jroc, you should know by now. You can’t correct anyone in an internet discussion. That leads to a world of down votes and “troll” comments.

      P.S. I know what you meant the first time

    • jroc

      It’s true. Should I apologize for knowing things? Hahaha

    • J-Ro

      Lol You know it. This is the internet after all. As Lupe said “dumb it down”.

    • Charles Sloane

      I do find it amazing how much energy you two put into making sure my comment was 100% accurate. Well done both of you! I will for sure make sure from now on I check with both of you before I comment on any more stories on here and I will also make sure you approve my comments first. Thumbs up both of you!!

    • J-Ro

      you still don’t see it? It was your wording. “they won’t be thrown around as much by earnings reports and stock market pundits” They wouldn’t be at all, as a private company doesn’t participate in those things.

      When is the last time you seen a earnings reports or stock market reports from Twitter?

      Get it now?

    • Charles Sloane

      You got it Man! If it’s that important to you that I personally validate your wisdom and knowledge, then your absolutely correct in every way and especially with the way you approach these forums and involve yourself in the discussions. I mean why would I ever disagree with you. Good Job buddy!!!!

    • J-Ro

      Lol thanks for the validation. Means a lot coming from you!

  • Claude Gohier

    Maybe it’s the real reason they pulled the BBM app…

    • DickGozinya

      Nah. The reason was pure incompetence and nothing else.

    • 01011001001

      agree.

  • beyond

    at least they can maintain their double characters FF instead of BB

  • 01011001001

    4.7b? so if Blackberry has still 2.5 – 2.6b left in the bank, then it means the actual purchase price is 2.1 – 2.2b.

  • FANDROID?

    and here it is folks. a golden parachute for thorsten heins and the failure management who led this company to the ground.
    55MILL in his pocket for doing boo all. what a joke.

    • 01011001001

      golden parachutes or employment agreements that pays out when the employee is fired w/o cause or got taken over – that I don’t have an issue.

      I do have an issue (as most of you have stated) with however that he’s getting that 55m for badly managing the company, and yes as CEO he is ultimately responsible for how badly things turned out – BB10 was launched w/o much fanfare (except for those over at Crackberry) and considered a disaster, no marketing, premium pricing for the z10 which was below what was already out in the market, BBM launch, Alicia Keys… etc.

  • J-Ro

    I wonder who will be in charge now? Will the new CEO have an actual interest in the success of the company or just in it for the mortgage payments?

  • Marcus Brown

    Microsoft offer to come?

  • HelloCDN

    They should do this, but I doubt that they will succeed in enterprise with the clown they have in CEO seat… I think his brilliant marketing strategy consisted of hiring Alicia Keys as a creative director and seeing how it goes from there.
    Oops, didn’t work out, well, just get the $55 mil bonus for trying and move on!

    There is a brief hope that the new investors might actually find someone with the brains. There is a market for a purely enterprise smartphone, and there’s hardly any solution for it. Business people are not interested in Android’s nerdy gimmicks or the limited iOS (fine for consumers, not so much for enterprise). BlackBerry should focus on that.

  • PT

    I wouldn’d pay more than $1.25 a share.

  • Jonathan Jacobs

    I have the iOS version and it is extremely laggy and unresponsive. Doesn’t even allow me to accept contact requests at times, or sometimes allows it but doesn’t show the new contacts on the contact list. The messeges take ages to send and sometimes show up in the notification centre but when you open the app, they’re nowhere to be seen. Horrible buggy app that’s simply useless and not worth downloading.

  • Jonathan Jacobs

    I have the iOS version and it is extremely laggy and unresponsive. Doesn’t even allow me to accept contact requests at times, or sometimes allows it but doesn’t show the new contacts on the contact list. The messeges take ages to send and sometimes show up in the notification centre but when you open the app, they’re nowhere to be seen. Horrible buggy app that’s simply useless and not worth downloading.

  • nig gie

    AH-HAHAHHAHHA!!!

    Suck it BB Fanbois!!!

    Fuk your BB, buy another phone you rich motherF******! Fuk your phone!

  • BMSMA

    What happened to the article about BB selling stocks before laying off employees? Scared of a lawsuit?

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