RIM co-founder makes move for BlackBerry

11 October 2013
By Edd Gent
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Mike Lazaridis, then president and co-CEO of Research In Motion, speaking during BlackBerry's DevCon in San Francisco in 2011

Mike Lazaridis, then president and co-CEO of Research In Motion, speaking during BlackBerry's DevCon in San Francisco in 2011

BlackBerry co-founder Mike Lazaridis is considering buying the entire company, according to a securities filing.

Lazaridis, who has increased his stake in the struggling smartphone maker meaning he now controls 8 per cent of the company, has engaged Goldman Sachs and Centerview Partners LLC to assist with a strategic review of his stake. He held almost 5.7 per cent as of the end of 2012, according to Thomson Reuters data.

The filing said that Lazaridis, who stepped down as co-chief executive and co-chairman of the company in early 2012, made the move along with his fellow co-founder Douglas Fregin.

The pair, who founded the company then known as Research In Motion in 1985, earlier this year started Quantum Valley Investments to support quantum physics and computing breakthroughs.

Such a deal could be an alternative to a preliminary, $9-a-share (£5.60) offer by a group led by BlackBerry's biggest shareholder, Canada's Fairfax Financial Holdings. BlackBerry put itself up for sale in August after lacklustre sales for its new devices.

Sources close to the matter have told Reuters that BlackBerry is in talks with Cisco Systems, Google and Germany's SAP among others, about selling them all, or parts of itself. The potential buyers have declined to comment.

Blackberry shares turned positive after the news and were trading at $8.20 on the Nasdaq. The stock has fallen more than 20 per cent since the company announced a deep loss and sharp fall in revenue in mid-September.

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