In partnership with commercial real estate services company CBRE,
BlackBerry said it intends to strategically divest the majority of
its real estate assets via a combination of sale-leaseback and
vacant asset sales.
The company did not disclose how much it expects to raise from the
process. The properties being put on sale comprise over 3 million
square feet of office space, the company said.
The announcement comes barely a month after the technology company
agreed to sell five buildings, along with some land, to the
University of Waterloo for about C$41 million.
That deal is expected to close next month. The university said the
five buildings would add some 300,000 square feet of space to its
campus footprint and over 1,000 parking spaces.
The moves to monetize the real estate assets comes after a series of
major layoffs by BlackBerry, which is attempting to reinvent itself
and turn around its faded fortunes.
The company did not provide details on the location of the real
estate assets, but much of BlackBerry's real estate asset base is
centered around its headquarters in Waterloo, Ontario.
John Chen, BlackBerry's new chief executive, in a statement said the
company remains committed to being headquartered in Waterloo and
having a strong presence in Canada following the planned real estate
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"This initiative will further enhance BlackBerry's financial
flexibility and will provide additional resources to support our
operations as our business continues to evolve," he said.
Chen has been working quickly to implement a whole series of
changes in the company, as it seeks to reinvent itself and focus
less on its devices segment, and more on its services business.
The company's stock, which fell to a 10-year low on the Toronto
Stock Exchange last month, has since been on a tear and surged 30
percent this year. Much of the new optimism springs from the company
finalizing a handset production deal with FIH Mobile in December.
The deal lowers the risk of the company having to book huge
writedowns on unsold phones.
(Reporting by Euan Rocha; editing by
Nick Zieminski and Chris Reese)
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