By Hugo Miller — "We'd be open to looking at it," Michael Sabia told analysts on a conference call today. "Our judgment of it would depend on what the specific conditions were — the returns, the structure of the deal."
Sabia's comments echo those made by other pension funds, including the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, which last week said it would consider investing in BlackBerry if the opportunity arose. Caisse de Depot oversaw assets worth about C$185.9 billion ($180 billion) as of June 30.
"Whether we do it or not, I can't tell you," Sabia said. "I have no idea because that's not something that's on the table as we speak."
If Heins is terminated without a change of control, he is entitled to $22 million in salary, incentive payments and equity awards, based on the March 28 share price. The payout would include his base salary of $3 million and about $72,000 in benefits and retirement savings. He also is eligible for an annual incentive payment of $2.8 million, which climbs to $4.5 million in a change-of-control scenario.
The equity awards are valued at $16.1 million if he's simply terminated and $48 million if it happens at the hands of new owners. The documents don't specify what might occur in a more complex breakup situation.
As of Thursday's close, the shares are trading 24 percent below the March 28 price on which the company's payout scenario was calculated. Adjusting for the difference, Heins would be eligible for a payout of about $44 million, according to Bloomberg calculations.
Adam Emery, a spokesman for BlackBerry, declined to comment on the package.
Heins was named CEO in January 2012, replacing co-founders and co-CEOs Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie, who stepped down after shareholders demanded a management shakeup. At the time, Heins was the company's chief operating officer, having joined BlackBerry in 2007 after more than two decades at Siemens AG.