BlackBerry co-founder Mike Lazaridis ends bid to take company private

Posted Dec 27, 2013

This past October, BlackBerry revealed that they were looking for a buyer to take the company private. One offer emerged from Fairfax Financial and it was rumored that BlackBerry co-founder and former co-CEO Mike Lazaridis was considering a rival bid. Instead of going private, BlackBerry made an agreement with Fairfax Financial Holdings and other institutional investors by receiving a $1 billion private placement of convertible debentures.

This past Tuesday, there was a Securities and Exchange Commission filing that has revealed Lazaridis abandoned plans to acquire the company. Lazaridis offloaded many shares and terminated an agreement with Goldman Sachs and Centerview Partners. Lazaridis was working with those two companies to put together a potential bid.

Lazaridis sold 3.5 million shares for around $27.4 million, which left him with a 4.99% stake in the company.  This is down from 5.7% prior to the sale. Lazaridis sold shares in BlackBerry when the company stock increased by around 15%. The stock price jumped after it was announced that BlackBerry made a deal with consumer electronics manufacturer Foxconn.