There may be some relief in sight for Canada’s beleaguered IPO market: BlackBerry Ltd.’s spinoff its Internet of Things business.
(Bloomberg) — There may be some relief in sight for Canada’s beleaguered IPO market: BlackBerry Ltd.’s spinoff its Internet of Things business.
The cellphone giant turned security software provider said Wednesday it’s planning initial public offering of the unit in the first half its next fiscal year, which begins in March. The decision followed a monthslong strategic review that had Wall Street speculating whether BlackBerry would split its segments, sell parts of the business or the whole company, whose market value stood at around $2.5 billion before the announcement.
The Internet of Things business is focused on giving things people use every day, like appliances and cars, online capabilities and sensors. RBC Capital Markets values this segment at $1.7 billion and its less valuable cybersecurity business at $450 million.
“We see the separation as a positive,” Raymond James analyst Steven Li said in a note Thursday, adding that the value of the business BlackBerry plans to spinoff is “being masked by the ongoing struggles and churn in the cyber segment.”
BlackBerry did not respond to a request for comment on the IPO.
If the Waterloo, Ontario-based company achieves that valuation and decides to list in Canada, the offering would be a dramatic boost for IPO activity in Toronto. Firms have raised just C$419 million ($305 million) through IPOs in the first eight months of this year, 78% less than the tally for the same period in 2022.
BlackBerry shares fell as much as 10% on Thursday.
BlackBerry’s announcement comes as Wall Street prepares for a wave of spinoffs as household names including Kellogg Co., Intel Corp. and General Electric Co. push parts of their business out into the market.
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“Both the IoT and cyber businesses have leading technology and talent and address large and growing market opportunities,” BlackBerry Chief Executive Officer John Chen said in the release. Chen has been under pressure to wrap up the review of the business before his contract expires next month.
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