Kitchener-Waterloo

BlackBerry could get lift from government-Vodafone deal

Export Development Canada will be providing financial assistance to European telecom giant Vodafone, which the Canadian government agency notes is an important customer of BlackBerry.

$850M financial assistance package for Vodafone could generate more business for BlackBerry

Export Development Canada is offering $850 million in financial assistance to telecom giant Vodafone, a company that the government notes is an important customer of BlackBerry. Media reports suggest that $750 million of the total will be allocated for purchases of BlackBerry offerings. (Chris Young/Canadian Press)

Export Development Canada will be providing financial assistance to European telecom giant Vodafone, which the Canadian government agency notes is an important customer of BlackBerry.

The EDC said it has reached a US$850 million commercial financing deal with Vodafone, but provided few specific details.

Instead, EDC says Vodafone -- which operates in several countries, primarily in Europe -- will generate important connections and new business for many Canadian companies and suggested BlackBerry would be among them.

The Globe and Mail reports that $750 million of the total will be allocated for purchases of BlackBerry offerings.

EDC assists foreign companies in purchasing goods and services from Canadian businesses, including repayable loans.

The announcement from Ottawa comes at a busy time for BlackBerry, which is scheduled to bring a new smartphone to market on Wednesday and release its latest quarterly financial report on Friday.

Analysts are estimating BlackBerry generated about US$925 million of revenue in its fiscal third quarter, which would be down about 22 per cent from the comparable period last year.

The company, based in Waterloo, Ont., is attempting to recover from a major decline in marketshare amid intense competition from Apple, Samsung and other larger companies.

According to data compiled by Thomson Reuters, analysts estimate BlackBerry will have reduced its third-quarter net loss to about five cents per share on an adjusted basis -- an improvement compared with a year-earlier loss of 67 cents per share.

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