BlackBerry Co-Founders Explore Buying Company

In a filing with the SEC today, the founders of Blackberry (NASDAQ: BBRY  ) Mike Lazaridis and Douglas Fregin, who own 16% of the company, disclosed that they had "entered into an agreement to explore the possibility of submitting a potential joint bid to acquire the Shares of the Issuer that they do not currently own." They also disclosed that they may also enlist other outside investors to assist in their acquisition of the company.

Their decision came following the announcement in August from the Blackberry board of directors that it would begin exploring "strategic alternatives" for the struggling company. In September, the company announced it had signed a letter of intent with Fairfax Financial Holdings to be acquired for $9 per share, or $4.7 billion.

In an email to the Motley Fool BlackBerry noted:

The Special Committee, with the assistance of the Company's independent financial and legal advisors, is conducting a robust and thorough review of strategic alternatives. We do not intend to disclose further developments with respect to the process until we approve a specific transaction or otherwise conclude the review of strategic alternatives.

In addition to their status as co-founders, Lazaridis served as former President and Co-Chief Executive Officer, while Fregin was the former Vice President of Operations. Fregin retired in 2007. Lazardis retired from his Co-CEO position in January 2012, and left the board on May 1 of this year.

Fregin and Lazaridis have enlisted the assistance of Goldman Sachs and Centerview Partners to review the additional strategic options related to their investment in the company.

The filing did not preclude Lazaridis or Fregin from buying additional shares or selling their position in the company.

The previous agreement between Blackberry and Fairfax was to be finalized by November 4. In the event that Blackberry does not uphold its agreement with Fairfax, it is required to pay $150 million.


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