BlackBerry today announced the company had received approval from the Toronto Stock Exchange to increase the maximum number of common shares for repurchase. This increase will take the total number of common shares BlackBerry can use as an alternative to dividends to 27 million (5.8% of the public float). BlackBerry has also enlisted a broker to allow for up to just shy of 2.7 million shares to be automatically purchased.
The company originally announced the common share buy-back program last year, which enabled the BlackBerry to purchase for cancellation up to 12 million BlackBerry common shares, or approximately 2.5% of the outstanding public float.
BlackBerry Announces Changes to Common Share Purchase Program
WATERLOO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Jan. 29, 2016) - BlackBerry Limited (NASDAQ:BBRY)(TSX:BB), a global leader in mobile communications, announced today that it received approval from the Toronto Stock Exchange ("TSX") to amend its current normal course issuer bid ("NCIB") in order to increase the maximum number of common shares that may be repurchased from 12,000,000 common shares, or 2.5% of the public float as at June 22, 2015 (the reference date for the NCIB), to 27,000,000 common shares, or 5.8% of the public float. The total public float on June 22, 2015 was 464,723,304 common shares. No other terms of the NCIB have been amended. BlackBerry also announced that it has entered into an automatic purchase plan with its designated broker to allow for purchases of up to 2,685,524 common shares in connection with the NCIB.
The NCIB – which began on June 29, 2015 and will end no later than June 28, 2016 – is conducted through the facilities of the TSX and the Nasdaq Stock Market ("Nasdaq") or alternative trading systems, if eligible, and conforms to their regulations. Purchases under the NCIB are made by means of open market transaction or other such means as the Nasdaq or a securities regulatory authority may permit, including pre-arranged crosses, exempt offers and private agreements under an issuer bid exemption order issued by a securities regulatory authority.
Under TSX rules, BlackBerry is allowed to purchase daily, through the facilities of the TSX, a maximum of 578,619 common shares representing 25% of the average daily trading volume, as calculated per the TSX rules. The average daily trading volume for the six months ended May 31, 2015 was 2,314,477 common shares. In addition, BlackBerry may make, once per week, a block purchase of common shares not directly or indirectly owned by insiders of BlackBerry, in accordance with TSX rules. All shares purchased pursuant to the NCIB are cancelled.
During the period from June 29, 2015 to January 29, 2016, BlackBerry purchased and cancelled a total of 9,921,454 common shares, representing 2.1% of the public float as at June 22, 2015, at a weighted price of US$7.43 per share.
The board of directors of BlackBerry believes that the purchase by BlackBerry of its common shares represents attractive investment given current equity market conditions, and does not expect that the amended NCIB will have a significant impact on BlackBerry's cash balance.