October 2, 2022
BlackBerry Ltd. BB-T chief govt officer John Chen plans to promote a few third of

BlackBerry Ltd. BB-T chief govt officer John Chen plans to promote a few third of his shares within the firm over the approaching yr, value about US$22-million at present costs.

His gross sales plan is aided by final yr’s meme inventory craze, which pushed BlackBerry’s share value quickly increased. That triggered the efficiency goal for Mr. Chen’s 2018 grant of shares and opened the door for him to promote a part of his holdings.

The corporate disclosed Mr. Chen’s plans in a securities submitting Wednesday. Mr. Chen’s buying and selling plan, developed to adjust to U.S. and Canadian securities legal guidelines, begins in March and is deliberate to finish in February, 2023. The arm’s-length plan permits Mr. Chen to promote as much as 2.9 million shares of BlackBerry, however he has no discretion over when the shares are bought as soon as the plan begins. The plan has a components with minimal value thresholds for gross sales. If he needs to vary the plan or finish it, he should give 30 days discover.

Automated-sales plans reminiscent of these enable firm insiders to promote inventory with out the chance they’ll be accused of unlawful insider buying and selling, or promoting the shares whereas figuring out of essential firm information that hasn’t but been disclosed to the general public.

BlackBerry has made inventory awards the important thing a part of Mr. Chen’s compensation since his arrival as CEO in 2013. However despite the fact that Mr. Chen has already made US$96.5-million from promoting about 10.8 million BlackBerry shares, the inventory has been unable to mount sustained positive aspects over the previous eight years of his management.

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The corporate as soon as referred to as Analysis in Movement Ltd. has spent the previous decade constructing on the power of the safe messaging its BlackBerry handsets had been as soon as identified for. Securing information transmission, significantly for enterprise clients, is now one of many firm’s core enterprise strains, as is connected-car expertise. BlackBerry mentioned in January it properly obtain US$600-million from a sale of its legacy smartphone patents to a U.S. agency.

Upon Mr. Chen’s arrival in November, 2013, the corporate gave him 13 million shares of restricted inventory that “vested,” or turned sellable, step by step over the next 5 years. The corporate valued that award at about US$85-million, based mostly on the share value of US$6.52 on the time. Mr. Chen has but to complete promoting these shares.

In 2018, the corporate gave him 10 million extra shares as an “extension award,” valuing them at about US$106-million, based mostly on the share value on the time of rather less than US$11. Half the shares would solely vest if BlackBerry inventory superior considerably – 50 per cent to almost 90 per cent – over the subsequent a number of years. A few of these shares can be coated by the brand new gross sales plan.

The weird “meme shares” craze of early 2021 gave Mr. Chen a present.

In late January final yr, BlackBerry’s New York Inventory Alternate-traded shares rose from US$7.44 to a excessive of US$28.77 in a matter of days. Many of the positive aspects had been passed by March, however the frenzy lasted simply lengthy sufficient for the common value of BlackBerry to high US$18 for 10 days – triggering the vesting of three million performance-based shares.

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Mr. Chen presently owns about six million shares, plus three million shares held in household trusts. If he stays via November, 2023, two million shares of restricted inventory will vest. He can obtain two million extra efficiency shares if BlackBerry reaches US$19 and US$20 per share within the coming years.

At round US$7.50 in Wednesday’s buying and selling, BlackBerry’s U.S.-listed shares are up about 15 per cent within the eight-plus years since Mr. Chen’s arrival. The TSX-listed shares are up about 36 per cent, because of the decline within the worth of the Canadian greenback. That return ranks it 152nd among the many 199 members of the S&P/TSX Composite which have been buying and selling over that point, based on S&P International Market Intelligence.

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