NEW YORK (The Deal) -- Days after announcing massive layoffs and a realignment of its business, BlackBerry (BBRY) said Monday it has agreed to a sale to a group led by Fairfax Financial Holdings that values the company at $4.7 billion.
The sale follows an effort by BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins, who took over in 2012, to revive the company's flagging smartphone business.
The deal would pay $9 per share for BlackBerry, contingent upon due diligence that would be completed by Nov. 4. BlackBerry can continue to seek buyers during the six-week period when the buyout group reviews the company.
Shares of BlackBerry rose 8 cents, or close to 0.9%, to $8.80 on Monday afternoon.
The Nasdaq halted trading of the shares briefly Monday before the announcement. Shares were also halted on Friday, before the company announced that it would lay off 4,500 employees and stop making phones geared toward consumers.
Jan Dawson of Ovum plc noted two challenges with the leveraged buyout.
"One is that simply taking BlackBerry private doesn't solve the primary problem that they don't have a strategy for making up the gap left by cratering phone sales," he explained. "The second thing is that, usually, when you take a company private, it's because there is a long-term strategy in place and you don't want to deal with the challenges of pleasing investors on a quarterly basis while you're executing that long-term strategy."
With BlackBerry, there is no evidence that the company has found a strategy that can turn the business around.