BlackBerry Plans IPO for Its Internet of Things Business

(Bloomberg) — BlackBerry Ltd., wrapping up a strategic review of its options, plans to hold an initial public offering for the company’s Internet of Things division, separating the business from its main cybersecurity operations.

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The split is expected to occur in the first half of the next fiscal year, the Canadian company said in a statement Wednesday. BlackBerry’s fiscal calendar runs through February.

The board undertook the review with advisers Morgan Stanley and Perella Weinberg Partners, and they concluded that an IPO was the best option for the IoT business, the company said. The Internet of Things market is focused on infusing online capabilities and sensors into appliances, cars and everyday items.

Investors applauded the move, sending the shares up more than 5% in late trading on Wednesday. The entire company currently has a market valuation of about $2.5 billion.

“BlackBerry believes that a separately traded IoT subsidiary will enable shareholders to more clearly evaluate the performance and future potential of BlackBerry’s principal businesses on a standalone basis, while allowing each business to pursue its own distinct strategy and capital allocation policy,” the Waterloo, Ontario-based company said.

Blackberry, the phone giant turned security software provider, announced the review in May, and uncertainty around the process has compounded concerns about the company’s financial performance.

Veritas Capital has been seen as a possible suitor for BlackBerry. Bloomberg reported in August that the private equity firm was contemplating making a bid for the whole company.

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