Troubled smartphone maker BlackBerry has agreed a deal that will see it sold to a consortium led by its largest shareholder for 4.7bn dollars (£2.85bn).
The Canadian firm, which had its European headquarters in Berkshire, said it had signed a letter of intent agreement with Fairfax Financial over a 9 dollars per share cash deal.
It comes days after BlackBerry, a pioneer of the smartphone industry, said it expected to make a £606m loss after disastrous sales of its new handsets, and would lay off 4,500 staff.
Canadian billionaire investor Prem Watsa, Fairfax’s chairman, said: “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.”
Sales of shares in the Nasdaq-listed company were halted after the news of the deal which would take it private.