Blackberry's US$600 million patent sale
BlackBerry Ltd. is cashing in on some of its intellectual property.
The Waterloo, Ont.-based security software firm announced on Monday it's selling non-core legacy patents to Catapult IP Innovations Inc. for US$600 million, including US$450 million in cash. The balance will come in the form of a US$150-million promissory note.
In a release, BlackBerry said the patents primarily relate to mobile devices, messaging, and wireless networking. The company added that it will license the patents and that the deal won't affect any of its products or services.
Several analysts pointed out in reports to clients that the assets fetched less than they anticipated.
Daniel Chan from TD Securities cut his price target on BlackBerry to US$7.00 per share from US$8.50 as a result of what he called a “lower-than-expected sale price.”
And Paul Treiber from RBC Capital Markets said the sale price fell short of his estimate that BlackBerry’s patent portfolio was worth US$1 billion. His price target on BlackBerry is US$7.50 per share.
However, Scotia Capital Analyst Paul Steep said the sale price “is reflective of the current state of the market for selling IP patent portfolios.”
Steep said he expects BlackBerry’s management team will consider a number of options for deploying proceeds from the deal, including potential acquisitions. He also cut his price target on BlackBerry to US$6.50 per share from US$7.50.
BlackBerry said it could take up to 210 days for the transaction to receive all necessary regulatory approvals.