BlackBerry Ltd. has agreed to be acquired by Fairfax Financial Holdings for a $4.7 billion, both companies announced Monday.
The Toronto-based financial holdings conglomerate which is Blackberry’s biggest shareholder, has agreed to pay $9 per share for the beleaguered mobile company. Shares of BlackBerry were trading at $8.23 per share prior to the news.
The Financial holdings company also happens to be BlackBerry's largest shareholder, owning about 10 percent of the company's common shares.
Fairfax Financial, sometimes called the Berkshire Hathaway of Canada, is primarily an insurance company.
With the deal, Blackberry will turn into a private company from public after years of losing ground to Apple Inc.’s iPhone and Google Inc.’s Android.
“As Apple and Android improve their respective enterprise and device management tools, BlackBerry’s advantage even there may diminish,” said Brian Proffitt of the University of Notre Dame.
“It’s not the devices and hardware where BlackBerry has value, but rather its software and mobile device management service.”