BlackBerry agrees deal to sell off majority of its Canadian property assets

By Danny Palmer
21 Mar 2014 View Comments
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BlackBerry has announced it has reached a deal to sell the majority of its property and real estate in the firm's home country of Canada as part of ongoing plans to balance the books.

Under the terms of the agreement, made to "improve operational efficiencies", BlackBerry will sell over three million square feet of real estate in Waterloo, Ontario - where the smartphone manufacturer's headquarters are located - in addition to various plots of vacant land.

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BlackBerry, however, has no plans to move away from Waterloo and intends to lease back some of the land, with the deal set to be completed by the end of the first fiscal quarter of 2015.

The sale forms part of the firm's plans to cut costs after a turbulent few years which have seen BlackBerry fall from a dominant position in mobile business technology to somewhat of an afterthought behind Apple and Google operated smartphones.

The buyer has not yet been named, but the deal may raise C$550m (£300m), based on previous sales prices for BlackBerry buildings and leaseback agreements, said Canadian property broker Ted Davis, according to Bloomberg.

"The successful sale of property in Canada will help us move toward our goal of continued operational efficiency," said BlackBerry CEO and executive chair John Chen.

"BlackBerry remains committed to having a strong presence in Canada and we continue to consider Waterloo home to our global headquarters."

Chen was appointed as BlackBerry's CEO in November last year.

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