Earlier on this year, BlackBerry cited unwavering faith in its BB10 ecosystem as the primary reason for spreading BlackBerry Messenger to the Big Two mobile platforms, but not everybody was so naive as to believe the utterances of a company in abject free-fall. The subsequent revelation that BlackBerry was for sale came as a shock rather than a surprise, which was ultimately followed by the news of BlackBerry’s pulling out of consumer market, but today, we’re hearing that a suitor may have been found for the one-mighty brand. According to a press release issued by BlackBerry itself, has agreed a deal with Fairfax Financial to the tune of $4.7 billion, and considering this particular entity already has a large stake in the company, the sum is not necessarily reflective of the Canadian outfit’s overall value.
Shareholders breathed a sign of relief when it was revealed that BlackBerry was looking for a buyer, and their patience will be rewarded with an additional $9 per share as the company is removed from the public market.
Although nothing is completely official just yet – in terms of the actual transaction taking place – in what is still a developing sequence of events, Fairfax Financial CEO Prem Watsa is buoyant about the future of BlackBerry:
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.
Having once dominated the mobile spectrum, BlackBerry has struggled amid exponential growth from the platforms created by Apple and Google, as well as an abundance of devices from vendors ranging from LG to Samsung. The BlackBerry Z10, as well as the BB10 platform, showed glimpses of what might have been had the company gotten itself together a couple of years earlier, but all of its recent efforts to claw back the deficit have looked largely in vain.
The purchase by Fairfax Financial could well help BlackBerry turn a corner, but right now, things aren’t looking particularly good.