Friday, October 24th5.7°C
23888
22501

Fairfax Financial Holdings doubles investment in smartphone maker BlackBerry

TORONTO - Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. (TSX:FFH) is showing increased confidence in the future of BlackBerry Ltd. by purchasing another US$250 million of convertible debt in the smartphone maker.

The move, announced Wednesday, comes after BlackBerry (TSX:BB) shares had a strong start to the year, gaining more than 15 per cent since the end of 2013.

BlackBerry stock ended six cents higher on Wednesday, closing at $9.20 on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Fairfax, which is the largest shareholder in BlackBerry, led an investment group that injected $1 billion into the company last fall.

The insurance and investment firm invested $250 million as part of that initial deal which gave the investor group an option to make an extra $250 million investment before a Monday deadline.

Fairfax said the additional BlackBerry debt was being bought for investment purposes.

Fairfax president Paul Rivett told The Associated Press his firm believes the market is only just beginning to see the true potential of BlackBerry under new CEO John Chen and the team he has assembled.

The debentures pay six per cent interest and are convertible into BlackBerry shares at a price of $10 per share.

Over the past month, BlackBerry's new chief executive John Chen has been speaking to the media and making the rounds at various industry events to trumpet plans for the Waterloo, Ont.-based company's future.

His plans include a five-year agreement with Foxconn where the Chinese manufacturer will produce smartphones for the company, including a model for Indonesia early this year.

Chen also wants to focus on keyboard smartphone models after sales of its touchscreen BlackBerry Z10 flopped.

Fairfax head Prem Watsa has been one of BlackBerry's strongest supporters in recent months, leading the charge to drum up financial support and playing a role in the hire of Chen.

Before leading the $1-billion investment in BlackBerry, Fairfax had contemplated making a takeover offer for the company to take it private.

Other investors in the initial investment agreement included Canso Investment Counsel Ltd., which put in $300 million, while funds managed by Mackenzie Financial invested $200 million.

Another $100 million came from Qatar's sovereign wealth fund, $70 million from Virginia-based Markel Corp., $70 million from funds managed by Manulife Financial Corp. (TSX:MFC) and $10 million from Brookfield Asset Management of Toronto (TSX:BAM.A), according to securities filings.

___

For more BlackBerry coverage, follow David Friend on Twitter.

http://www.twitter.com/dj_friend

The Canadian Press


Read more Business News

23833


Recent Trending




Today's Market
S&P TSX14536.49+49.66
S&P CDNX804.69-3.91
DJIA16766.2288.32
Nasdaq4471.803+19.011
S&P 5001959.61+8.79
CDN Dollar0.8905+0.0001
Gold1231.20+2.10
Oil80.73-1.02
Lumber335.00+5.40
Natural Gas3.609-0.013

 
Okanagan Companies
Pacific Safety0.105-0.005
Knighthawk0.01-0.005
QHR Technologies Inc1.15-0.02
Cantex0.07+0.015
Anavex Life Sciences0.194-0.004
Metalex Ventures0.045+0.005
Russel Metals33.41+0.25
Copper Mountain Mining2.05-0.03
Colorado Resources0.135-0.005
ReliaBrand Inc0.012-0.001
Sunrise Resources Ltd0.05-0.01
Mission Ready Services0.42+0.01

 





FEATURED Property
21015551896 Glenhaven Crescent
5 bedrooms 3 baths
$515,000
more details
image2image2image2
Click here to feature your property
Please wait... loading


What I learned in China

Photo: ContributedI will never be an expert on China. It is just too big, too complex and too old with layers of history and meaning that would take several lifetimes to unravel. As I said to my hosts...


We can get on together

I was in LA this week. I witnessed such crazy and unusual circumstances as I strolled along Hollywood Blvd and Sunset Blvd. A far cry from sleepy Peachland in the Okanagan! The strange thing was, I f...


Weakening global growth worries

The Big Picture Growth worries persist Worries about weakening global growth and its potential impact on the US economic recovery roiled markets around the globe this week. Europe continues to be the ...

_








Member of BC Press Council


22620