Last month, following yet another disappointing quarterly report, BlackBerry announced that it had formed a committee to consider “strategic alternatives.” Among these alternatives was the option of selling the entire company. BlackBerry today announced that this possibility has become a reality.
BlackBerry today announced that it has been bought for $4.7 billion by an investment consortium. The consortium is led by FairFax Financial Holdings, which already owns 10% of BlackBerry shares. The consortium is seeking financing for the transaction from Bank of America Merrill Lynch and BMO Capital Markets.
BlackBerry shareholders would receive $9 cash for every share they hold under the agreement, and BlackBerry stock has shot up on the news. The deal would take BlackBerry private, which could allow the company to focus on a long-term turnaround strategy surrounding the company’s enterprise solutions offerings. It’s a plan that largely mirrors the one set out by Michael Dell, who recently purchased Dell and has promised a long-term turnaround for the newly private company focusing on enterprise solutions and services.
The transaction will be completed after FairFax and the other members of the consortium perform due diligence during a six-week period expected to end on November 4. During that time, BlackBerry may also continue shopping itself for better offers.
“We believe this transaction will open an exciting new private chapter for BlackBerry, its customers, carriers and employees,” said Prem Watsa, chairman and CEO of FairFax. “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.”