BlackBerry Calls Off Sale, Will Replace CEO

BlackBerry Ltd is abandoning a plan to sell itself and instead will replace its chief executive officer and raise about $1 billion from institutional investors, including its largest shareholder, the smartphone maker said on Monday.

Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd, with a 10 percent stake, will take up $250 million of the debentures as part of a revised investment proposal.

BlackBerry says CEO Thorsten Heins is stepping down and Fairfax head Prem Watsa will be appointed lead director of the board.

Shares of BlackBerry dropped 19 percent to $6.33 in premarket trading. The company will raise the money with a private placement of convertible debentures.

Fairfax announced a tentative $9-a-share offer for the Waterloo, Ontario-based company in late September. But Reuters said on Friday that Fairfax was struggling to finance the $4.7 billion bid.

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.

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