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Fairfax struggles to raise funds for BlackBerry bid: sources


By Soyoung Kim, Nadia Damouni and Nicola Leske NEW YORK (Reuters) – Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd is struggling to raise financing for its $4.7 billion bid for BlackBerry Ltd, with several large banks declining to participate on concerns that the smartphone maker will not be able to reverse its fortunes, according to people familiar with the matter. Fairfax, which is run by Canadian financier Prem Watsa, is working with Bank of America Merrill Lynch and BMO Capital Markets to put together a lending syndicate for a deal, but they have been turned down by several large lenders, the sources said. Bank of America Merrill Lynch and BMO both have deep pockets themselves, and it is still possible they will muster the necessary financing for Fairfax to submit a definitive bid. Fairfax, the largest shareholder in BlackBerry with a 10 percent stake, reached a tentative $9-per-share deal with BlackBerry in late September, and has until November 4 to negotiate a definitive agreement.

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