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Blackberry co-founders to challenge Fairfax with bid for company

Lazaridis and Fregin plotting to purchase the struggling phone maker
Fri Oct 11 2013, 10:27
RIM president Mike Lazaridis

CANADIAN PHONE MAKER Blackberry's co-founders Mike Lazaridis and Douglas Fregin reportedly are mulling a bid for the struggling firm, as an alternative to Fairfax Financial's $4.7bn offer.

This news comes via an SEC filing, which reveals that Lazaridis and Fregin are looking to increase their eight percent stake in the company they founded by purchasing Blackberry outright.

The SEC filing reads, "In light of [BlackBerry's] recent announcement that its board of directors has formed a Special Committee to explore strategic alternatives to enhance value and increase scale."

It added that "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."

Blackberry refused to comment the news, instead putting out the same statement it always does when chatter of a buyout arises.

A spokesperson said, "The special committee, with the assistance of Blackberry's independent financial and legal advisors, is conducting a robust and thorough review of strategic alternatives."

According to rumours uncovered last week, Lazaridis and Fregin aren't they only people planning to bid for the failing phone maker. Reuters reported that Google, Cisco and SAP are considering "buying parts, or all of the company", with the Canadian phone maker also gaining interest from Intel, Samsung and LG.

Portions of the business that are of most interest to potential buyers are Blackberry's secure server network and patent portfolio, according to Reuters' unnamed sources.

Fairfax Financial declined to comment. µ


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