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Today the co-founders of Research In Motion submitted an SEC filing stating that they are considering making a bid to buy all the shares of BlackBerry that they don’t currently own.
Mike Lazaridis and Doug Fregin jointly filed a 13D with the SEC, which is a standard document that must be filed when you control over 5% of the shares of a public company. Lazaridis already held over 5%, but the new document says that he’s teaming up with Fregin, and they jointly own 8% of the stock.
When you get down to “Item 4” of the filing, entitled “Purpose of the Transaction”, here’s what it says:
In light of the Issuer’s recent announcement that its board of directors has formed a Special Committee to explore strategic alternatives to enhance value and increase scale, the Reporting Persons 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 (an “Acquisition”).
Also, according to the document, Lazaridis and Fregin have hired Goldman Sachs, Centerview Partners and others to advise them, so they could be quite serious.
There is no indication that the potential Lazaridis / Fregin bid has anything to do with Prem Watsa and Fairfax Financial’s bid. Unless I’m wrong, my read of the SEC filing tells me this is a totally separate potential bid.
To be clear, neither Lazaridis or Fregin have bought any new shares recently. The last transaction appears to be from 2012 when Lazaridis bought $50 million worth of stock.
There have been rumors circulating for a while that Lazaridis may enter the mix again. I thought if it was going to happen it would be in support of the Fairfax bid, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.
Things are getting interesting. We’ll keep following the story.