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BlackBerry considering real estate sales -newspaper

TORONTO (Reuters) - Struggling Canadian smartphone maker BlackBerry Ltd may sell some of its real estate to raise money, the Globe and Mail newspaper said on Wednesday.

Citing sources it did not identify, the Globe said BlackBerry had asked real estate companies to "outline ideas to generate the largest possible return in as little time as possible."

The company is considering selling some properties and leasing back space, as well as other options, the Globe said.

BlackBerry, which has lost market share to Apple Inc's iPhone and phones that run Google Inc's Android operating system, said last month that it planned to shed 4,500 jobs, more than a third of its workforce.

A statement from BlackBerry quoted in the article said the company was cutting costs and that efforts included "optimizing" space.

BlackBerry has signed a tentative $9-a-share agreement to be acquired and taken private by a consortium led by Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd, but its stock has languished well below the offer price, a sign investors are skeptical the deal will succeed.

The proceeds of any real estate sale may make BlackBerry a more attractive target for potential acquirers. But any such buyers, including Fairfax, may simply be looking for detailed estimates of the value of the assets.

The company could not immediately be reached for comment early on Wednesday.

(Reporting by Allison Martell; Editing by Janet Guttsman and Lisa Von Ahn)

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