January 29, 2016 / 4:07 PM / 3 years ago

BlackBerry wins approval to expand share buyback program

A Blackberry sign is seen in front of their offices on the day of their annual general meeting for shareholders in Waterloo, Canada June 23, 2015. REUTERS/Mark Blinch

TORONTO (Reuters) - BlackBerry Ltd has received approval from the Toronto Stock Exchange to more than double its existing share buyback program and repurchase up to 5.8 percent of its public float, the smartphone maker said on Friday.

The approval will allow the Waterloo, Ontario-based company to buy back up to 27 million shares, up from its earlier plan to repurchase 12 million. The total public float as of June 22 was 464,723,304 common shares.

The current repurchase program is valid until June 28, and the company can buy the stock on both the Toronto Stock Exchange and Nasdaq. It has so far repurchased about 9.9 million shares for an average price of $7.43 each under the existing program.

In morning trading, shares of BlackBerry were up more than 3 percent at C$9.98 on the Toronto Stock Exchange and $7.11 on Nasdaq.

BlackBerry said it believed the shares are an attractive investment given current equity market conditions. It does not expect the buyback program to have a significant effect on its cash balance, which stood at $2.71 billion on Nov. 28.

Reporting by Euan Rocha; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn

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