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University of Waterloo buys BlackBerry buildings, land for $41 million

WATERLOO, Ont. - The University of Waterloo has purchased five buildings and land from BlackBerry (TSX:BB) for $41 million.

The deal, which is expected to close Feb. 14, will add an additional 300,000 square feet and more than 1,000 parking spaces to the school's property holdings.

The university said Friday that it plans on using three of the buildings as soon as the deal closes, while the remaining two will be leased to the smartphone maker for up to five years.

"The University of Waterloo has set a course to become one of the world's top innovation universities and we must ensure that we have the space to meet that challenge," Feridun Hamdullahpur, the university's president and vice-chancellor, said in a statement.

"We are growing, and the opportunity to purchase buildings so close to campus allows us to meet current space challenges that will help us better meet the needs of the campus community."

The university campus is located next door to the sprawling BlackBerry headquarters in Waterloo.

The announcement came the same day the struggling tech giant posted a quarterly loss of US$4.4 billion or $8.37 a share, down from a profit of $9 million or two cents a share a year ago.

Poor sales of its new BlackBerry 10 devices sent revenue tumbling 56 per cent from a year ago to US$1.2 billion, which was $400 million lower than expected. Adjusted losses from continuing operations were US$354 million, or 67 cents per share — 23 cents below analyst estimates.

The Canadian Press


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