Prem Watsa: Back and Ready to Save BlackBerry?
When the boss of Blackberry’s (NASDAQ:BBRY) biggest shareholder, Fairfax Financial Holdings, resigned from the board in mid-August just seven months after joining, it seemed like Prem Watsa was only adding insulty to injury. The investment tycoon’s departure followed just in the wake of several other BlackBerry executive’s similar flights from the company, and the future was starting to look increasingly bleak for the Canadian smartphone maker.
But now it looks like Watsa might actually just be BlackBerry’s saving grace, because new reports from The Sunday Times and Reuters illuminate that the Canadian investor is closing in on a rescue deal for the smartphone company, and BlackBerry shares are finally back on the rise. It became evident that Blackberry was considering a potential sell last month when the company’s executives organized a committee of team members to review its options, and determine whether the smartphone maker would be more valuable as a whole, or sold off piece by piece by competitors or private investors.
Watsa also stepped down from BlackBerry’s board in August, citing a potential conflict of interest with the company’s announcement that it was exploring strategic alternatives, and speculation started to grow whether he would become one of BlackBerry’s largest bidders.