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pension funds, with assets around the world, traditionally take a long-term view in their investment decisions. Officials at the biggest funds either did not reply to requests for comment, said they had no information or declined to comment.
"We never discuss whether or not we plan to enter into any investment," said Deborah Allan, spokeswoman for Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan.
Watsa stepped down from the BlackBerry board of directors in August, citing a potential conflict of interest, as the company said it was exploring a sale.
Canada's Globe and Mail newspaper quoted Watsa as saying that a significant amount of the equity in the deal will come from within the country. The consortium included neither strategic players, nor other technology firms, he said.
BlackBerry's recent challenging years have been in stark contrast to the rapid growth it previously enjoyed.
The Z10 touchscreen device that the company hoped would claw back market share from the iPhone thudded badly at launch in January, and it has lost ground even in emerging markets where it had carved out an important role.
A spokeswoman for phone company MTN Nigeria, for example, said that while BlackBerrys are still very relevant in Nigeria, "the adoption rate has declined significantly from a year ago due to lack of newer low to mid-end smart phone models." In Brazil, locally made iPhones are the first choice for government workers. "I have never seen a Brazilian government employee using a BlackBerry," said one government source.
And while some U.S. government agencies still use only the BlackBerry, others allow devices like iPhones as well.
The American Lawyer surveyed 83 of the top 200 U.S. law firms in November 2012 and found that 90 percent of them expected to see a drop-off in the number of Blackberry devices.
John Sroka, chief information officer at Duane Morris, said that three years ago the firm only offered BlackBerry devices because they were deemed most secure. But in recent years, the firm has allowed their lawyers to use other devices too.
"People like Blackberry for the keyboard and email," he said. "The switch was caused by a better browsing experience and the apps."