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Blackberry, the once-prominent but now struggling mobile company, is moving forward with its intent to sell itself. Today it entered into an agreement with private equity firm Fairfax Financial, who plans to absorb the company for $4.7 billion, making BlackBerry a private company.

This is not set in stone yet, however, as BlackBerry could always refuse the offer in favor of another bidder. As of this moment though, no public bids have been made for the company. Should no one step forward to up the ante soon, the deal will be finalized, and BlackBerry will have gone fully-private with the company that already owns 10% of its shares.


“We believe this transaction will open an exciting new private chapter for BlackBerry, its customers, carriers and employees,” Prem Watsa, chief executive of Fairfax, said in a statement.

“We can deliver immediate value to shareholders, while we continue the execution of a long-term strategy in a private company with a focus on delivering superior and secure enterprise solutions to BlackBerry customers around the world.”

Additionally, the forthcoming iOS and Android app for BlackBerry Messenger, which was scheduled for release this past weekend, released early and “caused issues” for its already 1.1 million new users (which it gained in a mere 8 hours following release). Since the accidental launch of this unfinished version, BlackBerry has decided to pause “global roll-out of BBM for Android and iPhone” until it can get its act together.

BlackBerry is advising all Android app users to follow updates on their website to learn about an official release, but users who still have the app downloaded can continue to use it as they wish. It’s not like they can stop you anyway.

“Our teams continue to work around the clock to bring BBM to Android and iPhone, but only when it’s ready and we know it will live up to your expectations of BBM,” BlackBerry added.

“As soon as we are able, we will begin a staggered country roll-out of BBM for Android and continue the roll-out of BBM for iPhone.”

In more not-so-great news for the company, BlackBerry announced last week that it expects to lose over $950 million in its second fiscal quarter. What’s worse, the company might cut 4,500 jobs as it shifts its corporate focus to the “prosumer” market, which means reducing its smart device lineup from six to four.

What will become of BlackBerry as an entity remains unclear right now, but when we learn more, we’ll be sharing it with you right here, as soon as possible.

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