Following a series of setbacks, BlackBerry will be acquired by Fairfax Financial for an estimated $4.7 billion, the company announced on Monday.
A consortium led by Fairfax, which already owns about 10 percent of BlackBerry’s shares, will pay shareholders $9 per share once the sale goes through.
Also read: BlackBerry Exploring Possible Sale
The Canadian company once ruled the smartphone market, but its fortunes declined in the years since Apple introduced its iPhone in 2007, culminating in Friday’s layoffs of 4,500 employees (about 40 percent of its workforce) and dismal second-quarter earnings for fiscal year 2014. The company reported that it was running an operating loss of almost $1 billion.
BlackBerry tried to turn things around with its newest Q10 and Z10 models, but they sold far fewer than expected — just 3.7 million phones over the last quarter. The iPhone, by comparison, sold 9 million of its new models over the last weekend.
“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.”
Fairfax will have until Nov. 4 to conduct due diligence.