BlackBerry investor Fairfax draws support from Qatar, Canadian funds

Fairfax Financial Holdings, the largest shareholder of BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY), disclosed that its bid to shore up the finances of the struggling smartphone maker attracted the support of a Qatar-based sovereign-wealth fund and several Canadian investment funds.

BlackBerry announced Monday it halted its plans to go private in a $4.7 billion deal led by Fairfax and will instead receive $1 billion in financing in the form of convertible notes from Fairfax and the other investors.

The disclosures came in a filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission. Fairfax is contributing $250 million. In the filing, BlackBerry said Canso Investment Counsel is buying $300 million, while Mackenzie Financial ($200 million), Markel Corp ($100 million), Qatar Holding ($100 million) and Brookfield Asset Management ($50 million) are buying the remainder.

But if BlackBerry manages to sell itself to another buyer, the company will be on the hook for a breakup fee. BlackBerry would have to pay $250 million if it inked some kind of transfer of control, and if Fairfax and its partners agreed to some kind of takeover, BlackBerry would still have to pay the group $135 million, Reuters noted.

The filing also detailed the pay package for interim CEO John Chen, who was formerly CEO of Sybase and has been brought in to try to turn around BlackBerry's business. Chen will be paid a base salary of $1 million and can earn a performance bonus of $2 million. He will also receive 13 million restricted shares of BlackBerry that will vest over the next five years and could potentially be worth tens of millions of dollars more, bringing his total compensation package to more than $80 million. Chen will also be given a car and driver and won't be required to move more than 50 miles from his California home.

For more:
- see this SEC filing
- see this WSJ article (sub. req.)
- see this Bloomberg article
- see this separate Bloomberg article
- see this Reuters article

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