Struggling smartphone maker BlackBerry signed a tentative deal on Monday (September 23) to be acquired by a consortium led by its biggest shareholder, Fairfax Financial Holdings. The deal sets a $4.7 billion floor price in the auction for the Canadian company that pioneered "on-the-go" email.

BlackBerry, already 10 percent owned by Fairfax, has been on the block since August after several difficult years.

Previously known as Research In Motion, the company was late to the game of consumer-friendly touchscreen smartphones, and it bled market share to the iPhone from Apple and devices using Google’s Android operating system.

The $4.7 billion (£2.93 billion) offer comes from a consortium led by Fairfax that has offered $9 a share in cash to take BlackBerry private, away from constant Wall Street scrutiny. The group is seeking financing from Bank of America Merrill Lynch and BMO Capital Markets to complete the deal.

BlackBerry has until November 4 to seek superior offers, which is also the deadline for the Fairfax-led group to conduct its due diligence.

Meanwhile, Apple has issued a much more optimistic financial forecast, after the company sold 9 million iPhones over the past weekend when it debuted its latest two models.

Apple shares jumped more than 4.6 percent after the company said revenue in the fiscal fourth quarter would gravitate towards the high end of its previous forecast for $34 billion to $37 billion.

Sales of the new models were nearly double those of the iPhone 5 last year, which sold about 5 million in its first weekend, and they far surpassed the roughly 6 million that analysts had projected.

Presented by Adam Justice

Read more: http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/articles/508330/20130923/blackberry-receives-buyout-offer-letter-intent-fairfax.htm