Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Canadian Firm Fairfax to buy BlackBerry for $4.7 billion : Deal details, About Fairfax, Company profile and History, Prem Watsa

Is it too late for BlackBerry?

Canadian Smart phone maker, BlackBerry has signed a provisional agreement to be bought by Fairfax Financial Holding Limited, which currently hold 10% of sharesin the Waterloo.

Fairfax Holding CEO of Indian origin Mr Prem Watsa stepped down from BlackBerry's board in August 2013, rumers were heard that he would launch a bid for BlackBerry started to swirl.

Few weeks later after he stepped down from board has delivered, beginning a rescue project he once said could take 4 to 5 years.

Just over a year ago, Watsa said BlackBerry was a "Canadian success story", a good buy and a likely turnaround story even though its market share was tumbling.

On Monday, BlackBerry said it agreed to be acquired by a consortium led by Fairfax for $4.7 billion, a move observers said could allow the company to put its house back in order out of the public eye.

About Fairfax

Prem Watsa's Fairfax was on a loosing end of bets against the market in mid 2000s as Fairfax waited for USD mortgage insdustry to collapse.

Stock prices of Fairfax fall by almost 40% from mid 2003 to mid 2006, while rival  feasted on a housing fed bul market.

When market began to weaken in 2007, Fairfax began notching up investment gain and profits started rising sharply in 2007 & 2008 and thereafter rising storngly in 2009 too...

Since their 2006 low of C$100, Fairfax's shares have more than quadrupled.

Fairfax Profile and History.

Industry Insurance
Founded 1985
Headquarters 95 Wellington Street West
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Key people :V. Prem Watsa, Chairman/CEO
Products Property and casualty insurance
Website : www.fairfax.ca

Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited is a financial holding company based in Toronto, Ontario, which is engaged in property, casualty, and life insurance and reinsurance, investment management, and insurance claims management. The company operates primarily through several subsidiaries, including Odyssey Re, Northbridge Financial, Crum & Forster and Zenith Insurance Company.
As of December 31, 2010, Fairfax had total assets of approximately $31.7 billion, and its revenue for the prior twelve months was approximately $6.2 billion. Over the last 27 years (that is, since present management took over - until fiscal year Dec. 31, 2012), the company book value per share has compounded by 23% per year,while the common stock price has followed the growth at 19% per year.

About Prem Watsa

Prem Watsa (born 1950 in Hyderabad, India) is the founder, chairman, and chief executive of Fairfax Financial Holdings, based in Toronto, Ontario.
He has been called the "Canadian Warren Buffett" by some during successful periods of investing

He is a CFA charterholder, an alumnus of the Hyderabad Public School, Begumpet, a graduate of the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras with a degree in Chemical Engineering and a holder of an MBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business of the University of Western Ontario.

On January 22, 2012, it was reported he was to be appointed to BlackBerry handset maker, Research In Motion Ltd. (RIM), board of directors in the company's largest ever corporate shakeup. Mr Watsa resigned in August 2013, but kept his investment in the company at the time. On September 23 2013, Blackberry announced that it had signed a letter of intent to be acquired by Prem Watsa led Fairfax Financial Holdings in a $4.7 Billion deal


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