The $4.7 billion offer from Fairfax, which already owns about 10 percent of BlackBerry, is a powerful symbol of the phone maker’s decline. In June 2008 — a time when BlackBerrys defined smartphones — the company had a stock market value of $83 billion.
Any deal is far from done. Fairfax did not identify the other investors in its consortium, which is seeking financing. And while the offer could flush out potential rival suitors, it is unclear who might be tempted to come forward, given the company’s uncertain prospects. Investors gave a muted endorsement on Monday, with BlackBerry shares rising 1 percent, to $8.82, but failing to reach the $9 bid price.