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Blackberry Going Private
BlackBerry, the world-famous smartphone maker based in Ontario, Canada has agreed to go private upon a $4.7 billion deal by the Fairfax consortium.
Prem Watsa, who leads the consortium is seen by many as the Canadian counterpart of Warren Buffet, believes most of the investment would be from within Canada, and the deal would see Mike Lazaridis, the founder of BlackBerry, returning once more to the helm of the company.
Lazaridis was the co-CEO of BlackBerry until 2012 and a board member until March.
On Friday, BlackBerry said it would be focusing more on enterprise customers than on the individual consumer market. The company is thinking of moving away from the tough competitive space and position themselves to businesses, governments, legal firms and security forces as secure communication device provider.
Right now, out of the 600,000 mobile devices used by the Pentagon, almost 470,000 are BlackBerrys. The scene is similar in many top law firms and government departments which prize security above all else. There happen to be some US government agencies which solely use BlackBerry.
With the rise of competitors in the market and iPhone and android devices giving a better browsing experience, individual consumers were moving in favor of other alternatives and BlackBerry still remained a sound choice only for those to whom typing and emails were more important than other activities on the Internet.
The company’s Z10 touchscreen device failed badly this January and the company may have to write down almost $1 billion.
The company has until November to seek alternative superior offers to that made by the Fairfax investment consortium, but such chances are slim.