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BlackBerry to be sold for $4.7b

The mobile phone manufacturer owned by parent company RIM is to be sold after announcing that they expect to make a loss of just under $1b for the 2nd quarter of 2013 and will be restructuring the business, starting with an exodus of up to 40% of it’s current workforce.

The company swooping in on the ailing Canadian manufacturer is Fairfax Financial. It’s believed that a deal worth $4.7b has already been agreed with Fairfax CEO Prem Watsa already having made this statement:

“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.”

Little is known regarding how Fairfax plan to rescue the company but early indications point towards a return to the business market where BlackBerry originally made their name. Another of their strengths is the BlackBerry Messenger platform, which has kept loyal customers returning to the device for years. However, there isn’t anything to suggest that the company can continue to even produce handsets, as the decline in sales number means the company will no longer be able to profitable sell handsets. Ben Wood, a researcher for CCS Insight acknowledges this “It seems unlikely it can continue as it is and while the most attractive option is to focus on business users, tough decisions will need to be made”. Just what these tough decisions will be, we’ll have to wait and see.

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