BlackBerry Banks $1 Billion, Bounces 175 Employees

Published on November 14, 2013
by John Paczkowski

blackberry_little_engine_that_could1BlackBerry has finally secured the financing on which it will mount yet another effort to reclaim its past success.

The languishing smartphone pioneer said on Wednesday that it has completed the convertible-debenture financing that will see Prem Watsa’s Fairfax Financial and a handful of institutional investors dump $1 billion into it.

The funds — part of a deal that is much-diminished from the $4.7 billion buyout Fairfax proposed in September, but was unable to close — will keep BlackBerry running as it struggles to rebuild itself after calamitous losses.

Even now, the company continues to move forward with a massive restructuring under which it will lay off thousands of employees. According to a WARN (Workers Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act) notice filed on Nov. 5, BlackBerry sacked nearly 200 workers at its U.S headquarters in Irving, Texas, just a week ago.

BlackBerry confirmed the layoffs in a statement to AllThingsD.

“… We are in a period of transition and we must focus on enhancing our financial results to be in a better position to compete in this current mobile environment,” BlackBerry spokesman Adam Emery said. “As such, BlackBerry has implemented an ongoing workforce reduction that will impact approximately 4,500 employees globally over the next three quarters. Recent reductions included approximately 175 employees in Irving, Texas. “BlackBerry considers Irving one of our core U.S. locations, where we will continue to provide BlackBerry service and support offerings to customers.”

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