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BlackBerry said to be looking to sell its office space, too

Struggling handset maker has begun confidential discussions with real estate agents to move property fast, sources tell The Globe and Mail.

BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins.
BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins may be trying to sell more than just his company Sarah Tew/CNET

Now that BlackBerry has effectively sold itself to investors, the beleaguered handset maker is reportedly looking to unload property as well.

The smartphone maker, which owns 20 buildings in Waterloo, Canada, has entered confidential discussions with real estate firms in an effort to get the greatest return in the shortest amount of time, sources tell The Globe and Mail. The company is said to be willing to sell its property profile and lease back space.

The company, which plans to cut roughly 40 percent of its staff and sell itself to an investment group, announced Friday that it lost $965 million in its just-ended fiscal second quarter. The revelation came after the company announced in September that it had entered into a deal to sell itself a consortium of investors that valued the company at $4.7 billion.

In a statement, the company said reduction of unused office space would help it achieve its goal of reducing costs.

"As we work to our target of reducing expenditures by approximately 50 percent over the next three quarters, that includes optimizing our space," the company said in a statement. "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."

According to its latest financial statement (PDF), BlackBerry's operations are based on two campuses comprised of 27 buildings -- 21 of which the company owns and the rest leased. The central Waterloo campus houses engineering, manufacturing, and research and development groups, while its north Waterloo campus consists of two recently constructed buildings that are the base for the company's corporate, administration, and finance operations.