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Dec 13, 2013 What’s this about extending the deadline on BlackBerry convertibles?

Yesterday BlackBerry put out a little press release about its convertible debenture offering. We posted a quick blurb about it, however in reading through the comments, I can tell many of you want a simple explanation of what’s going on.

No prob --  that’s why I’m here.  Financial stuff can get a bit boring sometimes, and the people who write these releases sound like lawyers most of the time. They often have no clue how to just write in normal people speak.

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Nov 05, 2013 The Fairfax BBRY investment: One day later

Prem Watsa

Now that I've had 24 hours to think about yesterday's interesting financial twist and read plenty of other reporting on the subject, I thought I'd come back with another post to clear up a few things.

First off, it was likely incorrect of me to say that Fairfax wasn't able to raise the $4.7 billion required to take BlackBerry private. I know some reputable media outlets said they were having trouble raising the money, but it sounds like the truth of the matter is a bit more nuanced. I think Fairfax probably could have raised the cash, but part of the cash would have come from BlackBerry taking on debt, and perhaps the interest rates being offered were unfavorable enough that it threw off the model. All of a sudden a leveraged buyout doesn't make sense.

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Nov 04, 2013 BlackBerry receives $1 billion investment from Fairfax Financial and other investors, John S. Chen to be appointed Interim CEO; Prem Watsa Lead Director

Thorsten Heins to step down as BlackBerry CEO at closing 

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Oct 31, 2013 Here’s what happens to BlackBerry on November 4th

It has nearly been 6 weeks since BlackBerry’s board of directors entered into an agreement with a consortium of investors led by Fairfax Financial. As a reminder, here is what that agreement said in plain English:

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Oct 10, 2013 BlackBerry considering breakup if Fairfax doesn't pull through

Bloomberg is reporting today that BlackBerry may be turning down a different road should funding from Fairfax Financial not pan out in their original deal. Fairfax has agreed to purchase BlackBerry in a deal worth around $4.7 billion however they may not be able to come up with funding to complete the transaction. If that's the case, BlackBerry may look to break up the company into the most valuable parts instead.

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Oct 04, 2013 BlackBerry reportedly in talks with Cisco, Google, and SAP to sell off portfolio

It's only been less than two weeks since BlackBerry signed a letter of intent with Fairfax Financial to be sold for $4.7 billion. As part of the agreement, BlackBerry would be free during the due diligence period to discuss terms with other potential buyers if and when they arise. 

An article appearing today in Reuters claims that BlackBerry is doing just that as sources say they are in talks with Cisco Systems, Google Inc and SAP to sell off parts of itself including their secure server network and patent portfolio.

While this news comes as a bit of a surprise, it could all be part of the strategic alternatives BlackBerry were exploring as they weigh their options. Furthermore, BlackBerry has also expressed interest in potential deals with Intel Corp, LG and Samsung, and are currently awaiting a response by early next week. 

You can read the full text below and we'll be sure to keep you posted as these turn of events develop.

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Oct 01, 2013 Prem Watsa: 'In the enterprise market they’ve got huge advantages'

While the BlackBerry/Fairfax deal is still being worked out, Fairfax Financial CEO Prem Watsa hasn't been afraid to state his intentions should the deal go through. He's confident that their bid for BlackBerry will pan out and has already been thinking ahead of just what actions to take to keep BlackBerry going.

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Sep 25, 2013 Prem Watsa says he's confident about bid for BlackBerry

While some reports are saying that the bid entered by Fairfax Financial to buy BlackBerry for $4.7 billion won't succeed - Fairfax CEO Prem Watsa begs to differ. Even though the deal may not yet be fully financed, Watsa said in an interview with Reuters that he is confident in the bid, which puts shares at $9.

Fairfax is also BlackBerry's biggest shareholder and Watsa does not expect to have to contribute more than their 10% stake to the bid.

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Sep 24, 2013 What you need to know about Prem Watsa and Fairfax Financial

With yesterday’s news about Fairfax Financial making an official attempt to BlackBerry private, we realize not everyone knows much about Fairfax Fiancial, who they are or what they do. We thought we’d put together a quick post on Fairfax and its highly successful CEO, Prem Watsa.

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Sep 23, 2013 BlackBerry going private: What does it all mean now that it’s official?

On Friday most of the media was busy writing about the 4500 job cuts being the last nail in the coffin for BlackBerry. Today the company shook things up yet again. The rumours of Prem Watsa and his firm, Fairfax Financial, leading a bid to take the company private have proven to be true. The board of directors at BlackBerry has accepted an offer, conditional upon due diligence, of $9 per share.

Let’s put this all in plain English, shall we?  Right now BlackBerry is a public company. Its shares trade on the stock exchange and anybody can go buy or sell stock. I’m a shareholder as are many of you. So if this deal happens, Fairfax and a consortium of investors will buy our shares from us at $9 each. BlackBerry will still exist in the same form as it does today, but it won’t be publicly traded so they won’t have to issue the same kind of press releases or file financial reports. They’ll be able to go silent and hide any negative financial results while they work towards a long term comeback.

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