BlackBerry in $4.7bn takeover deal as value drops $75bn in five years

Loss-making smartphone maker BlackBerry has agreed to be sold to Canadian firm Fairfax Financial in a $4.7bn (£2.9bn).

The firm already owns 10% of BlackBerry and is reportedly joining forces with an unnamed consortium of  buyers to acquire the company for $9 a share.

Back in 2008, the company was worth more than $80bn (£50bn).

BlackBerry will officially be open to rival bids till Fairfax conducts due diligence until 4 November.

Fairfax boss Prem Watsa said: “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.

Last Friday, the company reported that it expects to post an operating loss of more than $950m (£593m) for the second quarter ending 31 August and has planned to slash 40% of its workforce. This wiped off 17% off its stock price.

“The profit warning on Friday was a clear indication of the extreme difficulties BlackBerry faces in the hyper-competitive mobile devices business,” Ben Wood, analyst, CCS Insight told City A.M.

“This latest bid underlines the seriousness of the company’s situation. By going private, the structure and purpose of the company can be redefined behind closed doors,” he added.

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