September 26, 2013

Fairfax says it won't abandon BlackBerry bid

The Associated Press

TORONTO - The head of Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. said Wednesday he has every intention of completing the acquisition of BlackBerry, despite doubts that the $4.7 billion deal for the troubled smartphone maker will go through.

BlackBerry announced earlier this week that Fairfax signed a letter of intent that "contemplates" buying BlackBerry for $9 a share. Fairfax, BlackBerry's largest shareholder, is trying to attract other investors.

BlackBerry shares on Wednesday lost 6 percent, closing a dollar below Fairfax's bid on fears the deal won't happen.

There is no breakup fee should Fairfax walk away, but Fairfax Chief Executive Prem Watsa told The Associated Press his firm is not in the business of making an offer and then walking away or redoing the deal.

"We've got a track record of 28 years of completing what we've done. We've never re-negotiated," Watsa said. "We thought long and hard before we offered $9 dollars a share and we're not in the business of offering a number and at the last minute changing the figure. Over 28 years our reputation is stellar on that front. We just don't do that."

Watsa noted the deal is subject to six weeks of due diligence but stressed Fairfax won't abandon it.

 

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