In a press release this morning BlackBerry Ltd, formerly Research in Motion, has announced that they have come to an agreement to sell the company. According to the reported terms of the deal a consortium lead by Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited for $4.7 billion dollars. The amount works out to $9 dollars per share for the stockholders in the Canada-based company.
“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,” Fairfax Chairman and CEO Prem Watsa said in a statement.
The announcement of the sale comes just over a month after BlackBerry Ltd announced that they were looking for buyers that would take the company private. One of the main reasons for deciding to take the company private by doing so they can better rebuild the smartphone manufacturer back to the prominent position they held over most of the last decade.
It was in 2003 that the then 4 year-old Canada-based company saw their smartphones start on a meteoric rise as several celebrates started using the smartphone with the icon qwerty keyboard. The smartphones soon became know as 'crackberries' because of the way people were becoming addicted to them. Then over the last few years the company started experiencing major reductions as the BlackBerry was being tossed aside for iPhones and android-based smartphones.
In the last two years the decline has reached the pointed that BlackBerry has seen major reductions in the over 17.000 employees. Last year saw a layoff of almost 5,000 of those employees. Then just last week BlackBerry announce an additional reduction of 40%, 4,500, employees.
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