Fairfax’s Prem Watsa: I’m Going to Keep BlackBerry Whole and in Canada

Prem Watsa is confident his consortium will successfully acquire BlackBerry for $4.7 billion.

The billionaire chief executive officer of Fairfax Financial Holdings currently leads a consortium that bid to buy BlackBerry in whole for cash at $9 a share, an offer which the Waterloo-based smartphone pioneer agreed to.

And Watsa says that once he owns BlackBerry, it’s going to remain whole and in Canada.

“Rest assured when we do this it won’t be done to split the company,” Watsa told UK newspaper The Telegraph. “I mean one of the reasons I went on the board, and I said it publicly, was to keep the company in Canada and to make sure it survives and exists in Canada. It is one of Canada’s most successful companies.”

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Fairfax can still easily back out of the deal but Watsa insists that won’t happen: “We’ve got a track record of 28 years of completing what we’ve done,” he told The Telegraph. “We’ve never re-negotiated.”

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

Photo: Associated Press