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#Business

Once valued at $77.7 billion, BlackBerry sold for petty $4.7 billion

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The Canadian Smartphone maker, BlackBerry, has agreed to a takeover deal with a consortium led by Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. for USD 4.7 billion. Looking at BlackBerry’s years of falling fortunes and bleeding market share, this decision might prove to be a lifeline for the Z10 maker.

The consortium has revealed that it is ready for counteroffers against its US $9 a pop bid – a price that is over $1.5 lower than the price at which BlackBerry was trading on the day of the offer. Before the announcement was made trading was halted and company’s shares were trading at $8.82.

The slump in the company’s share price on Nasdaq, which is at present even below the offer price, indicates lack of faith in investors that other bids for the company would turn up. BlackBerry will be seeking superior offers until November 4. The Fairfax group will be financing the deal through Bank of America Merrill Lynch and BMO Capital Markets to match the November 4 deadline. Paul Rivett, Fairfax spokesperson, revealed that because of the disclosure constraints surround the deal, they won’t be able to give out much information, but a strong Canadian solution is very likely.

BlackBerry can be considered as a pioneer of consumer-friendly smartphones up until its market share was dented by the likes of Apple, Samsung and other vendors. BlackBerry share prices peaked in 2008 at around $148, at the time when Apple announced its first iPhone.