By Dow Jones Business News, October 10, 2013, 03:15:00 PM EDT
-- BlackBerry's co-founders are weighing a joint bid for the troubled company, according to an SEC filing
-- The pair together now own an 8% stake in the company
-- The potential bid is separate from Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd.'s attempt to take BlackBerry private for $4.7
TORONTO-The two men who founded BlackBerry Ltd. (BB.T BBRY) in 1984 are looking to buy back the company.
BlackBerry co-founder and former longtime co-Chief Executive Mike Lazaridis is considering a joint bid for the
troubled smartphone company with co-founder Doug Fregin, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange
Commission released Thursday.
Mssrs. Lazaridis and Fregin together now own an 8% stake in the company, and are exploring "the possibility of
submitting a potential joint bid to acquire" all of the BlackBerry shares they do not already own, according to the
At the end of December, Mr. Lazaridis held a 5.7% stake in the company, according to regulatory filings. Mr. Fregin's
previous holdings weren't immediately available.
Last month, BlackBerry announced that it had entered a preliminary agreement with Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. to
take the struggling company private for $4.7 billion. Fairfax Financial (FRFHR), which is led by Prem Watsa, owns about
10% of the company. The preliminary deal came after BlackBerry said it was slashing 40% of its workforce and writing
down almost $1 billion in unsold phones.
Mssrs. Lazaridis and Fregin are not working with Fairfax Financial on that deal, according to a person close to the
matter. The two men have hired Goldman Sachs & Co. ( GS ) and Centerview Partners LLC as consultants on their review
process., according to the filing.
Mr. Lazaridis and fellow co-CEO Jim Balsillie stepped down from their roles in early 2012, but Mr. Lazaridis stayed on
the board until May 1 of this year. When Mr. Lazaridis stepped down from the board he said, "I believe I am leaving the
company in good hands."
A BlackBerry spokesman declined to comment.
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