A document filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission today indicates that BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) co-founders Mike Lazaridis and Doug Fregin may submit a joint bid for the struggling Canadian company. If they decide to do it, this would be the second offer the company has received.
There have already been reports that Lazaridis may be interested in making an offer, and today’s SEC filing is proof of those reports. Cereberus and others have also been said to be interested.
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Details from the BlackBerry filing
The document shows that both Lazaridis and Fregin still own shares of their company and that they have been considering what to do with their shares ever since BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) announced it would be putting itself up for sale. They said in their filing that they are considering a potential acquisition of all the shares they do not currently own, “either by themselves or with other interested investors.”
The filing also says they entered into an agreement “to explore the possibility of submitting a potential joint bid” to acquire the rest of BlackBerry’s shares. Together, they currently own approximately 8 percent of the company.
Details on the agreement
Their agreement states that Lazaridis and Fregin will work “exclusively” with each other in connection with the potential acquisition of all or part of BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB)’s assets or equities. There are some transfer restrictions in connection with the shares they own as well.
In addition they agreed to “jointly coordinate with respect to the development of a strategy with respect to the Issuer” [BlackBerry]. They have engaged financial advisors to assist with their consideration, including Goldman Sachs and Centerview Partners.
They may communicate with BlackBerry’s other shareholders, “knowledgeable industry or market observers,” board members, industry participants or other representatives of the company regarding their interest. Their discussions may include ideas or proposals in connection with a potential acquisition of BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB).
Lazaridis and Fregin seek other partners
Michael J. De la Merced of The New York Times’ DealBook reports that sources say Lazaridis and Fregin have been looking around for additional partners. The two have reportedly approached The Blackstone Group L.P. (NYSE:BX) and the Carlyle Group LP (NASDAQ:CG) to speak with them about a possible partnership.
What about BlackBerry’s offer from Fairfax?
If BlackBerry ends up choosing their offer over the original one from the consortium led by Fairfax Financial, then it will be stuck with a hefty fine. The company already signed a letter of intent with Fairfax to be acquired for $9 per share, although a go-shop period was part of the offer. Fairfax was said to have submitted a draft takeover agreement to BlackBerry last week. That deal with Fairfax is still far from done, however, and is subject to due diligence and the secure of financing.