BlackBerry (NYSE:BB) announced today that it has entered into an agreement in which it will sell more than 3 million square feet of its real estate holdings in Canada. The square footage along with vacant lands constitute the majority of its real estate holdings in Canada. It will lease back a portion of the space.
The company did not provide the financial terms of the transaction nor say who the buyer is. It expects the deal to close in the next couple of months. The company said it will release terms of the transaction once principal conditions are met.
In January of this year the company announced its plans to divest the real estate in an effort to provide it with greater financial flexibility as its business continues to pivot and evolve. In addition BlackBerry noted the move will allow it to "improve operational efficiencies, optimize resource usage and shift resources to support operations."
BlackBerry has continued to shift its operations and efforts as it has attempted to reshape its business. In December the CEO of the company, John Chen, provided a piece for CNBC in which he outlined the company would begin to focus its strategy and efforts toward business and enterprise clients, its BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) message mechanism, and its QNX operating system.
Since the beginning of 2014 the stock price of BlackBerry has risen almost 30%. Part of the reason for this increase included news BBM would later be available on the Windows Phone from Microsoft and also a report that the QNX technology would be used in the Ford SYNC in-car connectivity platform.
"The successful sale of property in Canada will help us move toward our goal of continued operational efficiency," said Chen in the official announcement of the sale from BlackBerry. "As previously stated, BlackBerry remains committed to having a strong presence in Canada and we continue to consider Waterloo home to our global headquarters."