Fairfax head reportedly nearing deal for BlackBerry

The head of Fairfax Financial Holdings and former BlackBerry chairman, Prem Watsa, is reportedly nearing a deal to acquire the Canadian handset manufacturer. The entrepreneur, whose company is the single largest BlackBerry shareholder, has been mulling raising the necessary funds for months and, according to The Sunday Times, has worked with Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, among other Canadian pension plans, to make it happen.

While it’s not clear whether the takeover would immediately take the company off the TSX and NASDAQ, there is a likelihood of Fairfax, or any potential buyer, breaking the company into smaller pieces. BlackBerry has been mulling spinning off BlackBerry Messenger into a separate company as it moves to become less a hardware vendor and more a services and software provider for both consumers and the enterprise.

Long-term shareholders are unlikely to make money from the deal, but the eventual share price may be a nominal win for astute investors. Recent market value pegged BlackBerry at just under $6 billion USD.

[source]The Sunday Times[/source][via]Financial Post[/via]