Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Founders eye making joint bid for takeover

  • Print
Mike Lazaridis: 'reinventing' is the goal

ERIC RISBERG / THE CANADIAN PRESS ARCHIVES Enlarge Image

Mike Lazaridis: 'reinventing' is the goal

BLACKBERRY co-founders Mike Lazaridis and Douglas Fregin are looking at making a potential takeover bid for the troubled smartphone maker (TSX:BB).

According to documents filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday, the two are "interested in pursuing a joint bid" with "the goal of stabilizing and ultimately reinventing the company."

The filing with the regulator said Lazaridis and Fregin are "considering all available options with respect to their holdings of the shares, including, without limitation, a potential acquisition of all the outstanding shares of the issuer that they do not currently own, either by themselves or with other interested investors."

No financial details of any potential offer were included in the filing.

BlackBerry has struggled this year as sales of its latest smartphones failed to catch fire. In August, the Waterloo, Ont., company launched a strategic review to explore its options including the possible sale or breakup of its operations.

Fairfax Financial (TSX:FFH), BlackBerry's largest shareholder, has made a conditional takeover bid worth US$9 per share and values the company at US$4.7 billion.

BlackBerry shares climbed five cents to close at C$8.49 on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Carmi Levy, an independent technology analyst, said from an investor's perspective, it was "nothing but good news" that Lazaridis appeared to be seriously interested in making an offer for BlackBerry.

"The worst-case scenario for BlackBerry was they would hold a sale and nobody would come; now clearly the lineup is starting to form," he said.

"It is still a small lineup, but a lineup all the same."

Together, Lazaridis and Fregin own roughly an eight per cent stake in BlackBerry, while Fairfax holds about 10 per cent.

Lazaridis served as president, co-chief executive and co-chairman of BlackBerry before he stepped aside in January 2012. Fregin helped Lazaridis found the company formerly known as Research In Motion and served as vice-president of operations before he left.

Lazaridis and Fregin have agreed to work together exclusively on any potential deal, not sell their shares and share the costs.

Under the agreement between the two men, Lazaridis will take the lead in developing a strategy, subject to approval by Fregin, in dealing with BlackBerry, potential investors and the media. Lazaridis declined to comment when contacted Thursday.

Analysts say the Fairfax offer is hinged on several conditions that make it far from a done deal.

Levy said the interest by Lazaridis will prompt Fairfax to move more decisively to get its consortium and financing in order.

"It doesn't fundamentally change things for Fairfax, but it certainly does raise the temperature and give it a much harder deadline than it had before," he said.

 

-- The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 11, 2013 B16

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Key of Bart - Take It Easy

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A goose cools off Thursday in water at Omands Creek Park-See Bryksa 30 day goose challenge- Day 25– June 21, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • Two Canadian geese perch themselves for a perfect view looking at the surroundings from the top of a railway bridge near Lombard Ave and Waterfront Drive in downtown Winnipeg- Standup photo- May 01, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Should Winnipeg control growth to deal with climate change?

View Results

Ads by Google