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Indian born Prem Watsa Gulps Blackberry
SI Team
Tuesday, October 1, 2013
Indian origin CEO of Fairfax financial services, Prem Watsa, famously known as the "Canadian Warren Buffet signed the letter by Fairfax Financial Holdings in a $4.7 billion deal. He is the man behind blackberry's acquisition. Earlier Watsa had stepped down from the board of Blackberry, amid huge speculations that he was unhappy with the way blackberry was on its track and it was rumored that the financial giant would launch a jaw-dropping bid for the suffering Smartphone provider. After a six week gap, Blackberry was signed up by the company for a record $4.7 billion.

Blackberry's stocks had recently fallen after the company lost pits prominence to big players such as Nokia and Sony. The recent announcement to cut down the workforce by one third has only added to the already prominent problems of the company. Watsa looks to take the services private and bring in his own ideas and hopefully resurrect the dying brand.

Watsa has been the Chairman and CEO of Fairfax Holding since he founded the company in 1985 and today controls half the voting rights of the company. A 1971 batch IIT Chennai graduate in chemical engineering, Watsa arrived in Canada with almost empty pockets to start pursuing his dreams. He completed his MBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario.

Since then, he has made a name for himself, mostly as an investor who identifies distressed and undervalued assets, bets on them, and reaps returns. Fairfax Financial Holdings, an insurance-cum-investment company that Watsa founded in 1985, went on to become Canada's most profitable company in 2008.

Watsa seems to see the positives amid all the negative energies. "The brand name, a security system second to none, a distribution network across 650 telecom carriers worldwide, a 79 million subscriber base, enterprise customers accounting for 90 percent of the Fortune 500 are all formidable strengths," he quoted in a letter that he wrote for Fairfax Financial shareholders this March.
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