Wednesday 26 November 2014

Mike Lazaridis drops plans to buy BlackBerry

Martin Strydom

Published 27/12/2013 | 13:57

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - OCTOBER 18:  Research in Motion President and co-CEO Mike Lazaridis delivers a keynote address at the BlackBerry Devcon Americas on October 18, 2011 in San Francisco, California. The BlackBerry Devcon Americas runs through Thursday October 20.  (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Mike Lazaridis

Mike Lazaridis, the BlackBerry co-founder and former chief executive, has dropped plans for a takeover of the struggling smartphone maker and cut his stake in the company.

He now owns 26.3m shares, or 4.99pc, after selling more than $26m of stock this week, according a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission on December 23.

His move follows BlackBerry's decision to abandon plans to sell the company after a failed $9-a-share rescue buyout by its biggest shareholder, Canada’s Fairfax Financial Holdings.

Instead, Blackberry drew up a radical scheme to raise $1bn from institutional investors - including Fairfax - and installed John Chen as chief executive to help turn the business around.

Mr Lazaridis, who stepped down as co-chief executive and co-chairman of the company in early 2012, had expressed interest in buying the company in October along with his fellow co-founder Douglas Fregin.

The pair, who founded the company then known as Research In Motion in 1985, controlled about 8pc of BlackBerry with Mr Lazaridis holding around 5.7pc.

They hired Goldman Sachs and Centerview Partners to evaluate "strategic alternatives" but according to the filing that agreement has now been terminated.

Shares in BlackBerry, which posted a $4.4bn (£2.68bn) loss in the third quarter after a dramatic slump in smartphone sales, have fallen around 35pc over the past year.

Telegraph.co.uk

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