The co-chief executives of BlackBerry maker Research in Motion Ltd said on Thursday they would donate about C$290 million ($253 million) of RIM shares owned by them to two charitable foundations.
The shares will be distributed through an automatic securities disposition plan (ASDP) in accordance with U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission rules, the company said.
RIM uses such plans to distribute shares for a variety of reasons, including charitable donations.
Co-CEO Jim Balsillie will make weekly share donations up to C$100 million over 24 months to a charitable foundation he has established.
Balsillie will also donate another C$57 million of shares to the Center for International Governance Innovation (CIGI), an Ontario-based think tank.
Co-CEO Mike Lazaridis will donate about C$190 million over 22 months to his charitable foundation.
The value of the donations is based on current RIM share price and may change depending on market price at the time of the actual donations.
The huge success of Research in Motion's new BlackBerry handsets has driven the company shares more than 80 percent higher year-to-date on the Nasdaq, while its shares have risen almost 70 percent year-to-date on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
The foundations and CIGI must immediately sell the shares they receive.
The ASDP also allows Balsillie to make weekly RIM share sales over a 24-month period of up to a total C$360 million, while Lazaridis could sell up to C$200 million in RIM shares in his 22-month period.
Balsillie currently owns about 34.97 million shares of RIM, while Lazaridis owns about 34.81 million.
In late April, three other RIM directors adopted similar ASDPs. RIM said other company insiders may also do so during the trading window.
(Reporting by Julie Gordon; Editing by Frank McGurty)