Qatari fund invests in BlackBerry

Nov 08, 2013

A Qatari sovereign wealth fund was among a small group of investors who recently contributed $1 billion to Canadian smartphone maker BlackBerry, US securities filings showed Friday.

Qatar Holding LLC joined the group led by BlackBerry's largest shareholder Fairfax Financial Holdings Inc. in making the cash infusion after the company abandoned hopes of finding a buyer earlier this month.

Fairfax had offered to buy the rest of BlackBerry and take it private but backed off at the last minute, opting instead for new management and cash to give it breathing room to restructure.

BlackBerry helped create a culture of glued to smartphones. But it has lost its luster as many have turned to iPhones or devices using Google's Android software.

In January, BlackBerry unveiled a new platform as it sought to regain lost momentum, but its most recent numbers suggest that has been a spectacular failure.

In September, the company announced that it was laying off 4,500 staff—or one third of its global workforce—after losing $965 million in its last quarter as sales plummeted.

Canso Investment Consel Ltd., Markel Corporation and Brookfield Asset Management Inc. were also named as part of the investor group in the US Securities and Exchange Commission filings.

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