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BlackBerry’s Canadian fire sale could generate $491m

BlackBerry wants to sell all of its real estate holdings in its home country of Canada as the aggressive restructuring led by CEO John Chen continues in earnest.

Related: BlackBerry CEO: BBM to become revenue stream in coming years

A press release from the Waterloo, Ontario headquartered company explained that the deal would see over three million square feet of space, which includes vacant lands and around 20 buildings, sold on. BlackBerry will then lease back a proportion of the space to operate the company from and it follows thousands of job losses in the company’s HQ over the past year.

“The successful sale of property in Canada will help us move toward our goal of continued operational efficiency,” said BlackBerry CEO and Executive Chair, John Chen. “As previously stated, BlackBerry remains committed to having a strong presence in Canada and we continue to consider Waterloo home to our global headquarters.”

The firm expects to close the deal in the first quarter of the 2015 fiscal year and it added that the transaction is subject to certain terms and conditions and may not be completed on the negotiated terms, if at all.

Chen took over the reigns at BlackBerry in late 2013 after a tumultuous few years ended up with the firm’s largest shareholder, Fairfax Financial, failing to complete a takeover deal, which meant Chen was installed.

A recent interview that Chen gave to the Financial Times, quoted by Digital Trends, stated that the firm has a “50/50 chance” at succeeding the second time round. When it came to mobile he stated “if we do it correctly, it could be dominant player again,” and mentioned Apple as an example of a firm that was able to succeed after slipping into a deep hole.

Related: Past its sell-by date: BlackBerry’s rotten 2013

In terms of how much the sale could net BlackBerry, SF Gate speculates that the real estate will bring around $491 million [£298 million] in cast to boost the company’s ailing coffers.