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BlackBerry to be acquired by Canadian insurer

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BlackBerry agreed in principal Monday to be acquired by Fairfax Financial, a Canadian insurance company, for $9 a share in a deal worth $4.7 billion in US dollars.

Trading in BlackBerry (Toronto Stock Exchange: BB-CA) was halted before the announcement. When it resumed at 2 p.m. EDT, the stock jumped as much as 5 percent before retreating slightly. Prior to the announcement shares in the troubled smartphone maker company were down more than 5 percent.

Fairfax Financial, sometimes called the Berkshire Hathaway of Canada, is a holding company whose primary business is in insurance. Fairfax is also BlackBerry's largest shareholder.

(Read more: BlackBerry buyer an old hand at value investing )

It is led by Prem Watsa, a chemical engineer by training who has run the firm since the mid-1980s.

The press-shy Watsa has long been a supporter of BlackBerry, and his name has been linked with a potential buyout for months.

(Read more: BlackBerry bought private jet months before layoffs )

This story is developing. Please check back for further updates.

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