BlackBerry extends deadline to boost capital increase

TORONTO Fri Dec 13, 2013 10:10am EST

A Blackberry logo is seen at the Blackberry campus in Waterloo, September 23, 2013. REUTERS/Mark Blinch

A Blackberry logo is seen at the Blackberry campus in Waterloo, September 23, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Mark Blinch

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TORONTO (Reuters) - BlackBerry Ltd, which recently concluded a $1 billion convertible debt offering, said it has agreed with its debtholders to extend an option deadline attached to the deal, giving potential investors a chance to buy up to a further $250 million in convertible debt.

The struggling smartphone maker last month shelved plans to sell itself and instead opted to raise funds via a $1 billion notes offering led by Fairfax Financial Holdings, its largest shareholder.

In a brief statement late on Thursday, BlackBerry said the earlier announced investor option to purchase up to an additional $250 million of convertible debentures, as part of the offering, has now been extended to January 13.

BlackBerry, which reports quarterly results next Friday, has been in quiet period since the closing of the initial offering.

The company said the extension will enable it to provide updated financial information to prospective investors after its third-quarter 2013 results have been released on December 20.

If the option is exercised, the purchase of the additional convertible debentures will be completed on or before January 16, the company said.

Investors that bought into the initial debt offering include Canso Investment Counsel, Mackenzie Financial, Markel Corp, Qatar Holding, Manulife Financial and Brookfield Asset Management.

BlackBerry shares on the Nasdaq are hovering around 10-year lows, on concerns of further erosion of the company's sales. Investors fear the company's three-month-long review of strategic options may have led to subscriber losses in the quarter ended November 30.

Shares of BlackBerry were up 10 cents at C$6.00 in early trading on the Nasdaq on Friday.

(Reporting by Euan Rocha)

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