BlackBerry Co-Founder Ends Takeover Bid, Sells Off Shares

Posted: Dec 26 2013, 10:21am CST | by , in News

BlackBerry Co-Founder Ends Takeover Bid, Sells Off Shares
Photo Credit: Forbes

BlackBerry’s rare good week has come to an end.

Michael Lazaridis, co-founder and former CEO of the embattled cellphone maker, officially ended his exploration of a takeover bid while cutting his stake to 4.99% of outstanding shares. According to SEC documents filed on Christmas Eve, Lazardis sold 3,166,893 shares for $7.55 per share on average and 333,107 shares at an average price of $7.63 for a takeaway of approximately $26.5million. He now owns 26,267,887 shares.

On this slow day for the stock market, BlackBerry shares are down 2% to $7.57 in morning trading.

Lazaridis’ profit taking came after BlackBerry shares surged 24% last week on the company’s announcement of a five-year deal with  Foxconn. The electronic-parts manufacturer will develop, build ad manage inventory for certain BlackBerry products. The partnership will initially focus on building smartphones for emerging markets where cellphone use is quickly growing.

However, the news was not all good. As Maggie McGrath reported, BlackBerry had,

a massive $4.4 billion loss for its third quarter of fiscal year 2014. According to GAAP measures, this comes out to a per-share loss of $8.37, a significant jump from the $1.84 per-share loss reported this time last quarter. The mobile phone company attributed the loss to pre-tax charges associated with long-lived assets, inventory commitments and a restructuring process.”

Lazaridis’s profit was not as grand as it may have once been. Even with the holiday week bump, Blackberry shares are down 34.7% year-over-year. Once Canada’s most valuable outfit, the smartphone traded at a high of nearly $140 in 2008 but has struggled in recent years to maintain relevance against Apple's iPhone ad Google's Android.  This is also not the first buyout deal to collapse. In November, shares plummeted after Prem Watsa’s Fairfax Financial  invested less than shareholders were hoping for.

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Source: Forbes

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