BlackBerry Agrees to be Acquired by Consortium for $4.7 Billion

Beleaguered smartphone maker BlackBerry has agreed to be bought by a consortium led by Prem Watsa’s Fairfax Financial.

BlackBerry has agreed to be acquired for $4.7 billion, or $9 per share in cash. The company says it has “signed a letter of intent agreement under which a consortium to be led by Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited has offered to acquire the company subject to due diligence,” which is expected to be completed by November 4.

Despite the accepted offer, BlackBerry is continuing to “actively solicit, receive, evaluate and potentially enter into negotiations” with other parties.

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It was reported earlier this month that the chairman of Fairfax Financial Holdings was assembling billions of dollars in backing from Canada’s biggest pension funds. Watsa, who is BlackBerry’s largest shareholder with a 10% stake, stepped down from the smartphone pioneer’s board in August. He had cited a potential conflict of interest when the company announced it was putting itself up for sale.

The company recently announced a $950 million pre-tax loss and confirmed that it plans to cut 4,500 members of its staff.