BlackBerry to separate IoT and cybersecurity businesses, plans IPO

(Reuters) -Canadian technology company BlackBerry said on Wednesday it would separate its Internet of Things (IoT) and cybersecurity business units and target a subsidiary initial public offering for the IoT business next fiscal year.

BlackBerry joins a number of companies that have split their units in recent years, favoring a leaner corporate structure to help investors better evaluate their separate businesses.

Earlier this week, the packaged food giant formerly known as Kellogg Co completed its spinoff. Healthcare giant Johnson & Johnson and industrial conglomerate General Electric have also spun off some of their units.

“Both the IoT and Cyber businesses … address large and growing market opportunities. This new proposed structure will further increase both their operational agility and ability to focus on delivering exceptional solutions,” said BlackBerry CEO John Chen.

U.S.-listed shares of Waterloo, Ontario-based BlackBerry rose more than 4% in trading after the bell. The shares have fallen more than 18% since Reuters reported in August that private equity firm Veritas Capital had made an offer to buy the company.

BlackBerry said in May it would consider strategic options for its portfolio of businesses that could include the possible separation of one or more of its businesses.

Last year, it pulled the plug on its smartphones business and has since been trying to sell its legacy patents related to its mobile devices.

The company went public in 1997 and soon became popular for its ubiquitous business smartphones, which were toted by executives, politicians and legions of fans in the early 2000s.

Last week, the company reported its second-quarter results and posted total revenue of $132 million, down from $168 million a year earlier.

IoT revenue was $49 million, while cybersecurity revenue came in at $79 million.

(Reporting by Savyata Mishra and Samrhitha Arunasalam in Bengaluru; Editing by Shilpi Majumdar and Shinjini Ganguli)

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