Enjoy those BlackBerry devices you have, because they may be the last ones they ever make.

The company has agreed to a buyout from Fairfax Financial Holdings—a group that had already owned about a 10-percent stake in the company—for $4.7 billion. A sad thought for the company when, just in 2008, they were valued at $83 billion. Current shareholders will be bought out for about $9 a share, and the company will be taken private after that, as long as another group doesn't come along and offer a higher bid within six weeks (don't hold your breath.) If you think BlackBerry's phones were bad, things are even worse at the workplace: they recently announced that they're expecting a $950 million loss for its second quarter, and would be firing 4,500 people. That's about 40-percent of its global employees. Ouch.

If things hold up and a new buyer doesn't come forward, it is widely expected that the company will drop out of the hardware phone business and concentrate on its enterprise strategy, since it is the phones that were once so hot that people fell out of love with, and led to the company's demise in the end. 

[via The New York TImes]