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Qatari sovereign wealth fund among BlackBerry rescue party

Money from the ground heading for the clouds

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A Qatari sovereign wealth fund has been identified as one of a number of backers to buy into failing flailing former mobile powerhouse BlackBerry.

The investment was revealed in an SEC filing made by BlackBerry on Friday November 8. Qatar Holdings LLC joined a group of other investors led by Fairfax Holdings (the company which earlier wanted to take BlackBerry private before that deal collapsed) to inject $US1 billion into the company.

BlackBerry had reportedly rejected offers from various buyers for part of the business, apparently preferring to hang together rather than hanging separately.

Meanwhile, new executive chair and interim CEO John Chen, whose prime directive is to find someone willing to take the poisoned chalice on a more permanent basis, has reportedly sipped the cloud Kool-Aid served up late in the term of predecessor Thorsten Heins.

The shift to a cloudy software-and-services business model commenced with the launch of free BlackBerry Messenger clients for iOS and Android. Just how many free downloads will be needed to foot the bill for John Chen, who reportedly signed on for a salary of $US1 million a year plus stock options (currently) worth more than $US85 million over five years, is beyond Vulture South's ability to calculate. ®

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