BlackBerry Mulls Property Purge

Published on October 2, 2013
by John Paczkowski

BlackBerry_descent_into_maelstromThese are dark days indeed at foundering smartphone pioneer BlackBerry. With its business in shambles and only limited interest in it as an acquisition target, the company is considering selling off some of its real estate holdings to raise money.

The Globe and Mail reports, and AllThingsD has independently confirmed, that BlackBerry has reached out to commercial real estate companies about how best to value and unload some of its Waterloo, Ont., properties. The company owns upward of 20 buildings in Canada’s Technology Triangle, having sold off only a few in recent years.

But now, with its fortunes in decline and plans to sack some 4,500 employees announced, BlackBerry’s real estate holdings exceed any use to which it might reasonably put them. So the company is looking for ways to monetize them — quickly. That information, along with the value of the properties themselves, will be provided to Fairfax Financial Holdings and other interested buyers, should they emerge. In the meantime, BlackBerry will put it to good use in “optimizing” its resources.

“As we work to our target of reducing expenditures by approximately 50 percent over the next three quarters, that includes optimizing our space,” BlackBerry said in a statement to AllThingsD. “Should space become unnecessary for BlackBerry’s continued use, we will work with key partners in the community who may need some of our surplus space.”

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