Blackberry has agreed in principle to be acquired by its a consortium headed by its biggest shareholder, Fairfax Financial.
The potential deal values Blackberry at $4.7 billion and if successful would see shareholders in the Canadian smartphone manufacturer receive U.S. $9 in cash for each share they hold.
On Friday the firm announced plans to axe 500 jobs and reduce the number of handsets it offers after announcing losses of almost $1bn.
It also said it would quit the consumer market and “refocus on enterprise and prosumer” customers among which it still has strong support.
In recent years the firm has been squeezed by the success of Apple’s iPhone and handsets running Google’s Android operating system.
In a statement released on Monday, BlackBerry’s Board of Directors confirmed they had signed a Letter of Intent with the Fairfax consortium and had set up a Special Committee to complete negotiations.
The buy-out is subject to a number of conditions, including due diligence and regulatory approval.
The company says it expect to sign a deal by November 4, 2013 but is free to solicit and explore further bids until this date.
Barbara Stymiest, Chair of BlackBerry’s Board of Directors, said: “The Special Committee is seeking the best available outcome for the Company’s constituents, including for shareholders.
“Importantly, the go-shop process provides an opportunity to determine if there are alternatives superior to the present proposal from the Fairfax consortium.”
Prem Watsa, Chairman and CEO of Fairfax, said: “We believe this transaction will open an exciting new private chapter for BlackBerry, its customers, carriers and employees.
“We can deliver immediate value to shareholders, while we continue the execution of a long-term strategy in a private company with a focus on delivering superior and secure enterprise solutions to BlackBerry customers around the world.”