BlackBerry extends option deadline of its $1 billion convertible debt offering

By Rizza Sta. Ana

Dec 13, 2013 12:46 PM EST

In a brief statement released on late Thursday, BlackBerry Ltd said it has agreed to extend an option deadline attached to its recently concluded bond offering amounting to $1 billion. The Canadian phone maker said it has agreed with its debtholders to extend the deadline of its investor option, which was a provision that existing bondholders could acquire an additional convertible debentures amounting to $250 million, to January 13 next year. Last month, the beleaguered smartphone maker shelved its planned exit and opted to raise funds instead by offering $1 billion in convertible debt led by its largest shareholder Fairfax Financial Holdings.

BlackBerry was noted to have been not making any news since it had closed its initial offering. The Canadian firm is expected to publish its reports quarterly results on Friday next week.

The company said it has decided to extend the deadline of its investor option tied to its bond offering as it will allow more time for its prospective investors to go over its updated financial information after it releases its third-quarter results for this year scheduled on December 20. Should the option will be exercised, the additional convertible debentures purchases will be completed on or before January 16 of next year, Blackberry said.

Investors who participated in the convertible debt offering included Qatar Holding, Manulife Financial, Brookfield Asset Management, Canso Investment Counsel, Mackenzie Financial and Markel Corp.

Blackberry's shares were up $0.10 per share at CA$6.00 apiece in early trading on Nasdaq Friday, perhaps an indication of a slight investor optimism about the Canadian smartphone maker. It shares had been hovering around 10-year lows due to concerns that the company's sales will further decline. Investors reportedly feared that Blackberry's strategic options review, which spanned for three months, could have contributed to subscriber losses in the quarter that ended November 30.

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