17032015Tue

Last updateTue, 17 Mar 2015 2pm

Indo-Canadian "Warren Buffet" acquires troubled smartphone maker Blackberry

A Private Equity consortium, led by Indo-Canadian investor Prem Watsa, has agreed to acquire smartphone maker Blackberry for $4.7 billion.

The purchase was led by Watsa's Toronto-based Fairfax Financial Holdings, which already owns 10% of Blackberry.

Announcing the move for Blackberry to go private, Mr Watsa said: “We believe this transaction will open an exciting new private chapter for BlackBerry, its customers, carriers and employees.”

The announcement comes days after BlackBerry warned it would make a quarterly operating loss of nearly $1bn and revenues would fall well short of estimates.  It said it would cut 4,500 jobs, 40pc of its total workforce.

The Company's sales have taken a battering in recent months as consumers have flocked to Apple and, to an even greater degree, Samsung.

As recently as 2011 BlackBerry sold more than 14pc of all smartphones in the world.

In the second quarter of this year, however, its share had collapsed to less than 3pc, according to the industry analysts IDC.  It sits in fourth place overall, behind Google Android devices, the iPhone and Microsoft’s Windows Phone.

In the latest quarter reported by Blackberry, the company sold 3.7 million handsets whilst Apple sold 9 million of its latest iPhone 5s model in just its first weekend on sale.

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