Mike Lazaridis: Back and Ready to Take BlackBerry Private?
Following the close of yet another turbulent week for the struggling smartphone company, The Wall Street Journal reported another possible sale option for BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY) Friday night, illuminating that its co-founder, Michael Lazaridis, has approached several private equity firms about a potential bid for the company.
Lazaridis founded BlackBerry with a friend in 1985, but handed over the reigns to the current chief executive, Thorsten Heins, last year after he and his co-CEO, Jim Balsillie, failed to stem the company’s loss of market share and subsequently endured significant pressure from shareholders to step down. Though Lazaridis resigned from his post in January 2012, he still remains one of BlackBerry’s largest shareholders, and therefore could smoothly take the company private if bids from private equity firms successfully materialize.
The Wall Street Journal noted Blackstone Group and the Carlyle Group as the two firms Lazaridis has already approached specifically, but cautioned that talks are still very much in their preliminary stages. It published the speculation just hours after BlackBerry released its preliminary second quarter earnings report Friday afternoon, and investors witnessed a revenue that hit well below analysts’ expectations, causing the company’s shares to plunge.