Word on the street is Mike Lazaridis, co-founder of BlackBerry who parted ways with the company last year, wants to make a bid for the floundering company. According to new report from the Wall Street Journal, Lazaridis has been in talks with private-equity firms about a possible joint bid. The news comes a day after BlackBerry announced it was laying off 40-percent of its workforce, and exiting from the mass consumer market altogether.
With nearly $1 billion in unsold phones, the situation is looking rather dire for a company that has struggled to regain its footing against rivals Apple and Samsung. BlackBerry threw a Hail Mary earlier this year, introducing a revamped OS and a handful of new devices (with another one on the way), but the company’s efforts have largely been too little too late. The company, weighing up its options, reportedly wants to close a deal as soon as this November. No formal bids have been made just yet.
Since reaching a stock-market value of $80 billion back in 2008, that figure has fallen beneath the $5 billion threshold following Friday’s layoff news. Over the past few years, we’ve seen notable handset makers—Motorola and Nokia—react to their situations by finding shelter under more powerful companies; either sink or swim. And while BlackBerry initially chose to swim, the company has quickly and visibly begun to sink—fast. But respite might be on the way.
There are apparently many interested parties in making an official bid for BlackBerry, but buyers seem more interested in particular parts of the Waterloo company rather than the whole picture. As for what Lazaridis plans to do isn’t clear. It would certainly be strange to see the company make a full 360 degree wipeout right back into Lazaridis’s lap, who failed to adapt BlackBerry to the changing smartphone market when he was co-CEO with Jim Balsillie.
When asked for a comment, Lazaridis could not be reached.