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

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