BlackBerry co-founder Mike Lazaridis sells off $26-million in BBRY shares

By Bla1ze on 24 Dec 2013 06:22 pm EST

BlackBerry co-founder, Mike Lazaridis has sold off 3.5 million shares in BlackBerry since Monday according to U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filings. The sale of the shares is noted to be worth $26-million (U.S.) and was processed via 1258701 Ontario Ltd., an investment holding company.

The first sale was made on Monday when 3.17 million shares were sold at an average price of $7.55 on the open market.

The second transaction came on Christmas Eve Day when the same numbered company sold 333,107 shares at an average price of $7.63.

BlackBerry shares have been on the rise after the company's Q3 2014 earnings report closing out 27 cents up to $8.25 on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Also of note, the filing of the 13D form cancels Mike Lazaridis and Doug Fregins initiative to take the company private. Fregin however, still holds an approximately 2.26 percent share in BlackBerry while Lazaridis now holds less than 5 percent down to 4.99 from his previous 5.68 percent.


Topics: BBRY Apps

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BlackBerry co-founder Mike Lazaridis sells off $26-million in BBRY shares


That's what happens when you rush to comment so you will be the coveted first...

Posted without the aid of AutoCorrect with my physical keyboard via CB10

The funniest thing in the article is the statement ' bbry shares on the rise...'

We laughed and laughed and laughed.

Posted via CB10

Merry xmas to me with a diamond laced parachute and a cozy pair of Uggs....said Mike.
Welcome to the Wiserhood.

Most likely. He bought 3 million in February 2012 for over $50 million. He can buy them back in 30 days while taking a $24 million tax loss today which is the end of tax loss selling in Canada.

Guess that kills off any possibility of big Mike trying to take BBRY (RIM) private then lol.
So should we say that this is a sign that Mike has lost faith inn the company?

Posted Via CB10 using the power of "Q"

Interesting... loss of faith in the company he built? Not sure I like that. But whatever, still love my Q10. :)

Posted Via CB10 using the power of "Q"

Thats not true, say for example the guys has a 50million debt, and 25 million in the bank. What is he?

Well easy.


@Bla1ze,or stop me from feeling bad ,Merry Christmas,thanks for the negative news ,you made my day.WTF on Christmas Eve?You could have passed on this one.Enjoy your White Xmas,

Yep. I would be selling all my shares in the company and merrily remembering the good old days when Research In Motion reigned supreme. Beside Mike L. probably wants the cash to invest in his quantum computing venture.

It,s actually to declare a loss so when you make tons of money and have to pay taxes you get a write off for the investments you lost on.I guess he doesn't want to be involved anymore also ,Oh well.

He was holding just under 42 M shares or 7.9%. He now holds 3.5M less.
CNBC site has ownership numbers if you're interested.

I think he's unhappy with the new direction that BlackBerry is going with Chen and is basically divorcing himself from the company. He's making a statement.

Posted via CB10 via Q10

That's what I was thinking too. This, or he's lost all hope of being able to buy back the company and taking it private, or the agenda he wanted to implement upon purchase being adopted by Chen.

Not just a statement but funny how he sells just as Chen is piecing things together knowing full well how sensitive the media is to anything BB, a deliberate spanner in the works?...

5star Z30

He's one of the reason's why the company is in the state it's in now for not seeing current market trends and adopting an arrogant stance. So, if he's getting rid of his ownership then good riddance.

I think luck and opportunity played a bigger role. He was never an exceptional businessman or leader. He just stumbled across / created a disruptive industry.

Thanks for your help Mike, but let's let the people who know how to run a company take over...

That seems possible. Remember he was leading a team that wanted to retake BB, and was actually close, but they would have needed another month or so and the board went with the Fairfax offer.

Posted via CB10

He's a smart business man. He's moving on. What he is working on with the quantum project is mind blowing. He doesn't need the money.

Posted Via my Z-30

Great mind, terrible business man. Have you followed his business model of total destruction?

He needs a Christmas present.
Either way BBRY is looking much better now that the new management is running things.

Wow, so he can buy all remaining PlayBooks and Z10's to line his walls with?

Posted Via CB10 using the power of "Q"

I think everyone is reading too much in this action. Stock is about making money, if he needed some liquidity, then sell it.

Posted via CB10 via Q10

He had to decrease his holdings below the 5% threshold. There is something about owning over 5% of a company. Can't remember what it is.

Posted via CB10

You're referring to this, I believe.

Section 13(d) of the 1934 Act and Regulation 13D thereunder require beneficial owners of more than 5% of a class of equity securities of a publicly traded company to file a report with the SEC. For purposes of calculating the percentage of shares held, a fund manager will generally be deemed the beneficial owner of the shares held by its clients, as well as of any shares held in its proprietary account.

As he no longer has a bid to take over the company and has canceled the 13D with SEC, he no longer needs over 5%. It's basically just money he can cash out on because he no longer needs that 'power'

I think we found the answer. I'm not sure the media would do this much homework. They all just want to be the first with breaking news. That said, if Mike L gave up on the company why would he keep 4.99%? I'm sure he is just taking a step back and watching from the sidelines as a shareholder.

Posted via CB10

Very sound reason for taking his holdings under the 5% threshold. You should add to the main article what it means to have less than 5% holdings (or just wait for our resident, all things finance guru, Umi to weigh in.)

Z10 STL100-3 | | Bell | posted via CB10

he needs more money to finance his quantum computing interest, which is likely the way of the future, and not Blackberry. He's merely moving on to the next big thing :)

If he believed in the company he would have bought at current price level but instead opted to sell below takeover bid.

He pretty much doesn't believe company has any chance of rebounding.

He might also be sour that he failed to get back his company.

Last but not least, he might have other investments in mind

Posted via CB10

He's not just another investor,he's the old captain of the ship,he should go down with all the other stockholders who bought the stock and believed in money money?

From what I know he has no ties with the company anymore. So, in the books he is another investor and that's it and can sell whatever he wants.

The timing of the sale is interesting. First, on the US market, December 26th is the last day for a transaction to be settled in 2013. So for tax reasons, maybe he had to sell those shares by the end of the year (tax losses to offset a gain? Or capital gain in order to withdraw a non taxable capital dividend from his company?)

Also, he went under the 5% threshold. Typically anything over 5% has to be declared when you buy more shares.

Finally the stock had been going up. Maybe he wants to get out and is slowly reducing his positions. It's better to sell when it's going up than down.

Posted via CB10

Seems like a relatively modest percentage of his holding. But the timing of the sale isn't friendly at all. I think he is not happy with anyone else other than BB be in total control of hardware design. He was originally looking to partner with chip maker Qualcomm in his bid, not a manufacturer like Foxconn who can provide the entire hardware solution.

Here's the deal, Mike. The Foxconn deal is why Wall St is finally giving BB another chance, without which, BB might have to cease making any hardware at all really really soon.

Good for him, I'd cash my own ass out too.
No way is the stock value anywhere what he had hoped for and hardly a windfall given all that he has put into the company. He has other interests that can always use the capital.
He is far removed from any responsibility for the company. Much like a child, they grow up they move on and he gets a visit every Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Easy answer. Mike has a brilliant mind and great ideas. He is likely funding a new project. The BlackBerry era is past for Mike, on to the new.

Posted via CB10

He must be on to something big with his new venture. Keep an eye on it. This guy likes to be a world changer.

Posted via CB10

If he wouldn't be confident in the stock he would sell all of it after a 16% rise.

The fact that he sold enough to get right under 5% says a lot.

Tax loss selling is another possibility. Why should he pay tax out of his pocket on other gains? I'm sure his rrsp and TFSA and maxed out ;).

Big time investors accumulate and reduce shares, I don't think it's anything negative.

Posted via CB10

They only downside to this is if he is successful at achieving what he believes he will with his quantum technology. The reason I say this is if he was a major shareholder, there would have been a chance that BlackBerry could have been the first to bring this to market and once again have something revolutionary. This may not happen, if he continues to distance himself any further.

Posted via CB10

He basically knows he cannot purchase his baby back and take it the direction he desired. So he is selling a wee bit and keeping rest as a regular shareholder for now..

Soooooo Mike no longer has faith and/or doesn't agree with the direction BB is going. Don't blame him, this time next year BB is going to be an unrecognizable company to Mike and the CrackBerry Nation.

Interesting, all the different reasons and very few of them are likely correct. None of us live in his world and none of us really know why he sold. We are all just guessing. The good thing is that even with Mike unloading that many shares the stock was still up over 3% today.

The market seems to like Chen's vision. Let's all hope it becomes a reality.

Merry Christmas to all..

Posted via CB10

This is the guy that said no to a all touch device. Good riddance if you asked me. BB10 over BOS any day.

Posted via CB10

Mike selling doesn't mean anything. To think BlackBerry shares are being bought up by the millions by investors and doesn't show any let up.

Posted via CB10

Good, now go and find some other industry to f**k up.

BBRY now at a new 2 month high.

Posted via CB10

Tax loss selling. You offset capital gains from other investments by selling capital losses by December 31st

Posted via CB10 on Z30STA100-5/

I don't know Mike, but seeing that we are all speculating, I would say he now feels BlackBerry "more than ever" does not really "need" him, now that Chen is at the helm. Mike feels it's a good time to advance commitments to his quantum theory projects (as a result of his confidence in Chen), . Mike is not abandoning BlackBerry he is just reducing his involvement (we all know he still owns shares).

Just out of curiosity only, how in a world Mike can handle something like "quantum theory", when he failed to manage less complex management system, such as BlackBerry...

Posted via CB10

Hi Joshua,

At least he is trying something else to help improve our world. We should give him credit for that. So far Mike has helped revolutionise ‎ the mobile telecommunications industry. The way I see it if he can help illuminate our present understanding of quantum theory I'm all for it .

I guess he thinks foxconn deal will fail because there is no obligation for foxconn to make bb10 phones if they find out they cannot make money from it. The foxconn deal is actually no deal.

You guys really need to research. The FoxConn deal was setup by previous management, Chen just sealed the deal. The people on here, that want to draw conclusions without looking at facts makes us as BlackBerry Fans look like ass clowns.

Mike Lazaridis isn't bailing.

There are only two reasons to sell rising shares.

One- you think the shares will soon fall, never to rise again. If this were true, he would be selling all of the shares to hold on to whatever gain he could.

Two- you need the money. It may not be the cash value for which you are looking. Rather, ML must have a tremendous potential share loss that he can claim against other capial gains. By making the fiscal reporting deadlines, he can trade losses against gains and avoid a tax charge. (This presumes his numbered company's year matches the calendar year.)

OTOH, it could simply be cash he seeks for reasons of his own and he has a personal timeline.

As others have mentioned, there can be too much read into Mike Lazaridis's financial transactions. Especially, as this cannot be seen as a response to John Chen's BlackBerry plans. It is way too early to accurately judge the possible results.

If the numbers Bla1ze reports are correct, there are good reasons for a private investor to drop below the threshold of reporting requirements. One being that it prevents a flurry of blogging activity on CrackBerry...

Posted via CB10

You guys read way too much into this. Now Crackberry is posting shit like this? Like this is news worthy. "Blackberry founder conducts tax efficient transaction". Good pick up. He still holds over $200 million in Bbry stock.

Posted via CB10

Yes, and he's going to sell it chunk by chunk. What do you think would happen to the stock price if he sold all his shares in one go? Wake the fuck up. Start shopping for a new phone.

You obviously don't understand Canadian tax laws. Triggering a loss is what many smart people do at the end of the year (when it makes sense in their overall financial picture).

Maybe you should wake the fuck up and start looking at the world through more than your myopic point of view.

Posted via CB10

First of all... IF you can remember way back when Thor took over, Jim sold all his stock and cut his ties. If Lazaridis was doing that, you would just pull it all out together. Simply not the case here.

He did not make this decision a day ago. Its a planned move to use the money elsewhere. Nothing to a see here.

Z10 goodness

Not sure why he would sell right now. With all the good things the new CEO is doing, this company is about to be making some great money! I know for sure the man isn't broke so he didn't have a need for money. So either he knows something we don't, or he just wanted to make us all look and say "wth?"

Posted Via CB10 From My BBQ10 On The Verizon 4G LTE Network

Really people, relax a bit. While I can't claim to be able to read Mike L's mind I would think that the timing of the sale (IE: the end of December) points to the smart financial planning step of triggering a capital gain/loss for tax purposes. I think that his next step, or lack of it, will be the indication of his intent. He could buy back some or all if he thinks the way forward is good. If he doesn't, then he may not like what he sees. However, regardless of which he does, do remember that he views the new changes through his glasses, which may be biased by the vision for HE wanted for BlackBerry.

Chicken Little, the sky is not falling

Posted via CB10

What do u mean link, read the news there are thousands of links, just type on Google blackberry loss q3 4.3 - 4.4 billion.

Posted via CB10

Probably bought his wife a nice Christmas present and needed the cash flow. Hahaha

Honestly this doesn't mean anything. These guys buy and sell shares regularly. This is just a "I need cash" move. He could be buying something, investing elsewhere, paying taxes, looking for a loss for tax purposes or even donating it. Either way it doesn't say anything about his confidence in BlackBerry. Now if he sold ALL his BlackBerry shares then I would be worried.

Posted via CB10

C0014C3C9 good for him now add this channel and post sum music you like n let's get BlackBerry n to the music scene #underground

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He's probably wanting to invest more in the quantum project in waterloo. best of luck mike! :)

Posted via CB10

Don't read too much into this. The timing and quantity indicate tax loss selling to take the position below the 13-D threshold and end the previous takeover position. Chen is Prem Watsa's CEO, and Chen has now cleared the deck. Mike L is just doing some financial management, while at the same time acknowledging that Prem is in control. It's no longer his baby.

That is exactly what is going on. People like Mike L and Chen and many other wealthy people make decisions based on facts and financial advisers and tax lawyers, not some emotional drama filled scenario. Jeez folks look at some reality now and again. Mike and Jim are out of BlackBerry period end of statement. Does he care what happens to the company, of course but the stock and money angle is completely separate issue. I also agree the 13-D threshold was a big consideration so that is why his stock ownership remains at 4.99%. Peace and Merry Christmas

We need CrackBerry's Chris Uma(insert remainder of name here) to give us his perspective. He's very good at shedding light on situations such as this one.

Cheers. :)

Posted via CB10

If I am not mistaken, he had to apply for the sale of those shares a very long time ago. The Securities and Exchange Commission in the USA require approval far enough in advance to reduce the likelihood of insider trading.

Posted via CB10

The simplest explanation is often the correct answer. The filing that he is no longer attempting to take the company private dovetails nicely with him getting under the 5% threshold of being a beneficial owner.

If he was trying to get out of the stock he wouldn't have kept 4.99 percent of the outstanding shares of the company. 4.99 percent of the outstanding shares of any company on the NASDAQ is a lot of money.

The fact that he still personally owns such a large stake in BlackBerry shows he still has faith in the company.

Posted via CB10

Should clean out the old and come in with the new.

Don't be stuck in the 90's and let's look into the future.

Let's do this!
Spend on Advertising
New Artitude.
New Board
New products
Phones for the future
Phones that are ahead of the competition

People need to be told what to do. Buy Blackberry's, do it or you will die attitude. None of this passive company, more of the aggressive company, no holds bar.

Bring down the competition.
Fresh look, fresh feel, fresh attitude. People live the underdog and the success from the bottom.

"BlackBerry moving beyond technology"

Dennis R. Anderson

DJ Dennis

He and Jim in my own personal viewpoint and from speaking with a former RIM employee are part of the reasons this company is in a mess

Posted via CB10

There are not many people on this planet who started a company from very little, and years later worth 60+ Billion.

Then, the unthinkable, one co-CEO spent years harassing Hockey Teams in the US, the other sleeping at the wheel, meanwhile BB engineers screaming for new OS that could compete with reality, they were ignored.

These guys ignorance was the genesis of the downward spiral. Heins did his best, but dropped the ball with regards to Marketing.

In a Nutshell.

1. The opinion that ML sold his shares is because he no longer has faith in the company is wrong. He still has 4.99% share in the company if he had no faith why not sell everything?
2. He sold his shares because he figured the stock it would not go any higher. Wrong if that was the case would he not sell all the shares, why hold on to any shares if you think the stock would tank, that would be stupid don't you think?
3. He has lost interest or has debts to pay. Maybe. Since he failed to take over the company, with his last bid and he has no more influence in the board making decisions, maybe he feels its time to move on. But the fact is he still has 4.995% shares on the company.
4. I think the reason he sold the shares is that he no longer has influence in the company and feels its best to just move on. He only sold some of his shares. After you are below 5% you can sell at any time and don't have to report and no one will know you sold. So i think he did this to minimize the impact on the company. later he will sell in bits and pieces and no one will know and it wont affect the stock too dramatically!

the keyword was he kept it at exactly 4.99%, short to be 5%. Well, he can keep SEC off the back, and declare asset losses, no?