09/23/2013 04:51 EDT | Updated 09/23/2013 04:59 EDT

Fairfax Financial: The Corporate Empire BlackBerry Is About To Join


It looks like embattled BlackBerry is about to be sold to Fairfax Financial Holdings, billionaire Prem Watsa's holding company.

Few people outside business circles know much about Fairfax, but the company has a market value around $8.3 billion, and owns significant shares in numerous businesses, particularly insurance companies.

Here's a look at the recognizable Canadian brands in Fairfax's very diversified portfolio (one that will no doubt be even more diversified once it owns a smartphone maker):

Photo gallery The Corporate Empire BlackBerry Is About To Join See Gallery

Prime Restaurants Inc.

Canadian firm Prime Restaurants owns East Side Mario's, Casey's, Fionn MacCool's and a number of other restaurant chains recognizable across North America.

Mega Brands

The maker of Mega Bloks has been embroiled in a battle with Lego, which accused the company of ripping off its building-block product. But Lego lost its patent on its building blocks two decades ago, and Mega Brands is likely to keep on building its blocks. Pictured here is a Hello Kitty Mega Bloks set.

William Ashley

Known for its high-end silverware and kitchenware, William Ashley outlets can be found anywhere rich people shop. Pictured here, a William Ashley dining set inspired by the British drama 'Downton Abbey.'


Torstar may best be known as the publisher of The Toronto Star, Canada's largest-circulation newspaper, but the company is also behind the wildly successful Harlequin line of pulp romance.

The Brick furniture chain

The Brick is a staple of suburban Canadian malls. The chain was recently bought out by competitor Leon's.

Sporting Life

The Toronto-based Sporting Life retail chain is 75-per-cent owned by Fairfax Financial.