BlackBerry sells US headquarters to Brookfield Property Group

NEW DELHI: Faced with mounting losses and unsold inventory, struggling smartphone maker BlackBerry has sold its US office in Texas to Brookfield Property Group as it seeks to rationalise costs.

Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed. "We can confirm that Brookfield Property Group has purchased BlackBerry's Irving, Texas campus property. BlackBerry will continue to be a tenant on the campus," a BlackBerry spokesperson told PTI.

The move is being seen as a part of the Canadian handset maker's broader efforts to conserve cash and fund turnaround efforts amid intense competition from Apple and Google's Android operating system-based smartphones.

Waterloo, Ontario-based BlackBerry had bought the upscale Riverside Commons six-building complex in 2009.

Brookfield is an alternative asset manager focussed on property, renewable energy, infrastructure and private equity with over $175 billion in assets under management. It has eight corporate offices globally, including one in India.

Once a leader in the global smartphone market, BlackBerry has lagged behind competitors Samsung and Apple and lost market share steadily.

For the quarter ended November 30, it posted a net loss of $4.4 billion compared with a loss of $965 million in the year-ago period.

The loss includes a non-cash, pre-tax charge against inventory and supply commitments of approximately $1.6 billion during the reported quarter.

The pile up was mainly on account of unsold BlackBerry 10 devices, launched last year with much fanfare.

BlackBerry started a programme in 2012 to streamline operations and increase efficiency. Among other things, the company sought to optimise its manufacturing footprint and outsource global repair services and reduce its workforce.

BlackBerry said it would cut 4,500 positions to bring the total workforce to approximately 7,000 full-time global employees.

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