One of the heads of the two-headed hydra responsible for running Blackberry into the ground is seriously considering buying the company.
For years, BlackBerry co-founders Mike Lazaridis and Douglas Fregin ran the company. Fregin acted as the company’s VP of Operations until he retired in 2007.
Lazaridis became co-CEOS with Jim Balsillie and for a number of years the pair earned the title of worst CEOs in the world. RIM suffered so badly that when they stepped down the new CEO Thorsten Heins had a nearly impossible task of fixing a broken RIM.
Now Lazaridis and Fregin are back offering an alternative to a $4.7 billion offer led by its top shareholder.
Lazaridis signed a confidentiality agreement with BlackBerry on Monday, according to the filing. If a takeover is successful, Lazaridis would become chairman, and Fregin would appoint a director, it says.
Techcrunch did not say if the pair wanted to join or to present an alternative to a tentative $9-a-share bid by a group led by Fairfax Financial Holdings.
Lazaridis and Fregin control some eight percent of BlackBerry, and can nearly match the 10 percent controlled by Fairfax.
Lazaridis has been buying up more than 60,000 shares since last year and was BlackBerry’s co-chief executives and co-chairmen.
Word on the street is that he is considering “the widest range of options possible”.
Fairfax might not have enough cash to buy the company anyway and indeed at this point it does not have any funding lined up. It is expected that it, or Lazaridis and Fregin will be heading to the Canadian pension funds with their caps in hands asking for cash.
Fregin recently teamed up with Lazaridis again to start Quantum Valley Investments to fund quantum physics and quantum computing initiatives.