On Monday, Fairfax Financial pulled out of its $9 a share purchase of BlackBerry. The company's largest shareholder not only couldn't find financing for its bid, it also felt that this was not the time to invest in an LBO. The deal was scrapped and instead, Fairfax said that it would lead a $1 billion investment in the beleaguered manufacturer. BlackBerry will sell convertible debt, and Fairfax itself will take down $250 million of the paper.
On Thursday, the Wall Street Journal listed the names of the other investors in the Canadian company, as listed in a regulatory filing made by Fairfax. For example, Ontario-based Canso Investment Counsel Ltd bought the biggest slice of the debt, $300 million. Other names in the group include Toronto firms Mackenzie Financial Corp. and Brookfield Asset Management Inc. Other investors include Markel Corp.out of Virginia, and Qatar Holding LLC.
After it was revealed that now departed CEO Thorston Heins is in line to pull the rip cord on a $22 million Golden Parachute, both BlackBerry and Heins received criticism for appearing to reward the executive's failure to turn the company around. The filing by Fairfax revealed the compensation package given to interim CEO John Chen. Chen gets a base salary of $1 million and could receive an additional $2 million in bonuses based on whether the company reaches certain performance based goals. Chen also will receive 13 million restricted shares of BlackBerry. Of course, these shares will have to vest over time. At Thursday's closing price, the shares have a value of nearly $85 million dollars.
Chen will be given a car and a driver and won't be required to move more than 50 miles from his home in California even though the company is headquartered in Waterloo, Ontario.