2013 was a particularly tough year for BlackBerry. Its stock reached an all time low, it ended up having to write down inventory worth billions of dollars, and it tried selling itself but failed to spark interest in any potential buyers. Fairfax Financial Holdings, BlackBerry’s largest shareholder, made an acquisition bid of $9 per share but apparently could not raise the required funding, so it pumped in $1 billion with a few other institutional investors. BlackBerry has now announced that Fairfax has agreed to pump in even more money, $250,000,000, in convertible debentures to be precise. The $1 billion investment was also made in convertible debentures.
That investment brought about major changes at the company. Its former CEO Thorsten Heins was pushed out in favor of turnaround expert John Chen, who is also the executive chairman of the board. Chen then removed top executives from the previous regimes, regrouped the company under four major divisions and appointed his very own team of high level executives. Under Chen BlackBerry also partnered up with Foxconn, which will be tasked with creating low-end and mid-range devices for emerging markets. This partnership will free BlackBerry from inventory management risks while it focuses on high-end devices and its enterprise business. The $250,000,000 transaction is going to be completed on or before January 16th, 2014.
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