BlackBerry receives $1bn investment

BlackBerry receives $1bn investment

BlackBerry has announced that it has entered a funding agreement with Fairfax Holdings Limited and other institutional investors in a deal worth $1 billion (£620 million).

The company claims that the development is testimony to its belief that it still has a strong future, despite recent troubles.

The transaction, which is expected to be completed within the next two weeks, will see Fairfax acquire $250 million principal amount of the Debentures.

Barbara Stymiest, chair of BlackBerry’s board said: "This financing provides an immediate cash injection on terms favorable to BlackBerry, enhancing our substantial cash position.   Some of the most important customers in the world rely on BlackBerry and we are implementing the changes necessary to strengthen the company and ensure we remain a strong and innovative partner for their needs."

It is also seen as a development that marks the conclusions of the strategic alternatives process that has been conducted by the firm's Board of Directors.

The agreement will also see some new appointments at the top of the company, with John S. Chen expected to be appointed as the executive chair of BlackBerry's Board of Directors.

While in this role, he will be responsible for the strategic direction, relationships and organisational goals of BlackBerry.

Mr Chen is widely regarded as something of a visionary and within the industry, boasting expertise in technology and global markets.  

One of his most noticeable achievements was the transformation of Sybase from a mature technology company into a high-growth enterprise.

In a press release, the company said that such experience would be "invaluable" to securing BlackBerry's future.

Other additions include long-time BlackBerry supporter Prem Watsa, who rejoins the firm's board, while lead directors Thorsten Heins and David Kerr intend to step down.

Confirming the news, the company said in a statement: "We are excited to welcome this new leadership to BlackBerry, and are confident that their expertise will propel our company into a new chapter that is rich with possibilities."