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BlackBerry to be sold For $4.7B

Troubled smartphone maker BlackBerry has signed a provisional agreement to be bought by a consortium led by Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited, which already owns approximately 10 per cent of the publicly traded shares in the Waterloo, Ont.-based company. Trading of the company's shares was temporarily halted on the Nasdaq and the Toronto Stock Exchange early afternoon Monday after BlackBerry announced the deal, which is still subject to due diligence. Trading resumed around 2 p.m. ET. BlackBerry said in a news release that it has signed a "letter of intent agreement" under which the company's shareholders would receive $9 US cash for each BlackBerry share they hold and the consortium would acquire, for cash, all of the outstanding shares of BlackBerry not already held by Fairfax.

The consortium would take the company private.Fairfax is a financial holding company based in Toronto that owns a number of subsidiaries, primarily in the insurance sector. Under the terms of the deal, it would contribute the shares it currently holds into the transaction, which is valued at approximately $4.7 billion and still subject to approval by regulators and, since BlackBerry is currently a publicly traded company, by its shareholders. The consortium, which is reportedly seeking financing from Bank of America Merrill Lynch and BMO Capital Markets, has six weeks to conduct due diligence, during which time BlackBerry can seek better offers.

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