BlackBerry Co-Founders Cuts Stake at Company, Cancel Plans to Buy It Back

Co-Founders of BlackBerry No Longer Interested In the Company

by Anton Shilov
12/26/2013 | 11:51 PM

Michael Lazaridis and Douglas Fregin, two co-founders of Research in Motion company (that was recently renamed to BlackBerry), have reduced their stake in the company and revealed that they no longer pursue to buy the company back. The move indicates that the two investors are losing belief in the company and their abilities to buy it back and turn it around.

 

In October, Mr. Lazaridis and Mr. Fregin disclosed that they owned a combined 8% stake of BlackBerry and were considering a joint bid to acquire the Waterloo, Ontario-based firm after it had put itself up for sale in August amid weak sales, reports the Wall Street Journal. Back in November, the company changed its management, cancelled plans to sell itself and focused on restructuring. This week the founders of BlackBerry reduced their joint stake in the firm to 5%.

Michael Lazaridis and Douglas Fregin founded Research in Motion in 1984 in a small office in a Canadian strip mall in 1984 with a loan from Mr. Lazaridis's parents, while the co-founders were students. RIM's early development was financed by Canadian institutional and venture capital investors in 1995 through a private placement in the privately held company, according to Wikipedia.

Originally, Research in Motion worked with RAM Mobile Data and Ericsson to on a two-way paging and wireless email service, which was launched back in 1998. In 2003, RIM unveiled its first BlackBerry smartphones with QWERTY keyboards, which supported push email, mobile telephone, text messaging, Internet faxing, Internet browsing and other wireless information services, essentially transforming the industry of corporate and wireless communications. Since the early 2000s, RIM’s business has been focused around BlackBerry and it was logical for the company to rename itself to BlackBerry earlier this year.

Mr. Lazaridis stepped down from CEO position of RIM in early 2012.