New round of layoffs hit BlackBerry as takeover rumors heat up

Following a fresh round of rumors that Prem Watsa’s Fairfax Holdings has put together billions of dollars in backing as it prepares a takeover bid for BlackBerry, the company has confirmed a fresh round of layoffs. The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday followed up earlier reports with the claim that dozens of workers on BlackBerry’s sales team have been laid off. “I can confirm a small number of employees were laid off today,” a BlackBerry spokesperson said in response to the claim. Earlier reports had made the layoffs seem much more severe, suggesting that as much as half of BlackBerry’s sales team had been let go. It is unclear if this new round of layoffs is related to an imminent Fairfax buyout, the possibility of which has been tossed around since BlackBerry announced last month that it was exploring a possible sale. BlackBerry shares were down 1.8% on the news ahead of Tuesday’s session after gaining more than 6% on Monday to close at $11.53.

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