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Fairfax strikes $4.7-billion deal to buy BlackBerry

Oh, Canada. Will you be able to bring the once-proud smartphone pioneer out from the ashes of failure? We’ll soon find out.

Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. has put together an equity consortium that is seeking to take BlackBerry Ltd. private for $9 (U.S.) a share, a deal valued at about $4.7-billion.

BlackBerry is giving the group six weeks to conduct due diligence, with a final agreement expected by Nov. 4. BlackBerry is able to look for alternative offers in the meantime, but the Fairfax group has a right to match them. Fairfax’s equity partners want to remain anonymous until the due diligence is completed.

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