BlackBerry Ltd (BBRY) reportedly to sell most Canadian property

Posted Mar 21, 2014

BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) has reportedly reached an agreement to sell most of its real-estate holdings in Canada in order to raise cash for a turnaround plan. BlackBerry is going to sell over 3 million square feet of space plus vacant property and lease it back some of it. This transaction is expected to close at the end of May. BlackBerry did not reveal the terms of the deal.

According to Bloomberg, BlackBerry could raise as much as C$550 million ($491 million) based on the sales prices for previous BlackBerry buildings and leaseback agreements. Bloomberg cited Avison Young property broker Ted Davis for these numbers. Davis specializes in southwestern Ontario.

BlackBerry CEO John Chen believes that the company could make some sort of comeback by offering phones with physical keyboards after a shift from touch-screen devices failed to gain traction with consumers.

Chen made a deal with Foxconn to outsource phone production in order to save money. He is expecting BlackBerry to stop losing cash by the end of the fiscal year concluding March 2015.

BlackBerry announced two months ago that it was going to sell the property, but would maintain a “strong presence” in Canada. Chen himself is based in California. ?We continue to consider Waterloo home to our global headquarters,? said Chen.

[Source: Bloomberg]