When BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) announced that it was exploring strategic options, one of the side notes to that announcement was that Prem Watsa was resigning from the company’s board. He cited potential conflicts of interest, and now, it looks as if he may indeed end up being the Canadian company’s savior.
Shares of BlackBerry rose as much as 3.5 percent at the NASDAQ in the wake of the report about Watsa’s possible bid for the company.
Watsa secures backing for BlackBerry bid
Prem Watsa, known by some as Canada’s Warren Buffett, has reportedly secured financial backing from pension funds to make a bid to buy out the struggling handset maker. Currently Watsa’s company Fairfax Financial Holdings is BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB)’s biggest shareholder with 10 percent of the company.
The report about Watsa comes from Ben Marlow of The Sunday Times. The report indicates that Watsa’s backing comes from the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board. The newspaper also reports that other pension funds in Canada will also likely support Watsa’s bid for BlackBerry.
BlackBerry preparing for a deal
Last week shares of BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) rose as it was revealed that the board was trying to get a deal done by November. Of course many have been skeptical that it could be done so quickly, but Watsa may be the most logical answer to the board’s desire to get it done as quickly and easily as possible.
When BlackBerry initially revealed last month that it was looking for a buyer, there was immediate speculation that pension funds would be among those interested in buying the company. And since Prem Watsa’s firm owns 10 percent of BlackBerry, his opinion of any deal would carry a lot of deal with the company. As a result, the fate of BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) truly does rest in his hands, even if he isn’t preparing to make his own bid for the company.