(Corrects to show Lazaridis now controls, rather than holdsdirect ownership of, 8 percent of the company's shares in thesecond paragraph)
By Alastair Sharp
TORONTO, Oct 10 (Reuters) - BlackBerry Ltd co-founder Mike Lazaridis has increased his stake in thestruggling smartphone maker and is considering buying the entirecompany, according to a securities filing on Thursday.
Lazaridis, who now controls 8 percent of the company, hasengaged Goldman Sachs and Centerview Partners LLC to assist witha strategic review of his stake. He held almost 5.7 percent asof the end of 2012, according to Thomson Reuters data.
The filing said that Lazaridis, who stepped down as co-chiefexecutive and co-chairman of the company in early 2012, made themove along with his fellow co-founder Douglas Fregin.
The pair, who founded the company then known as Research InMotion in 1985, earlier this year started Quantum ValleyInvestments to support quantum physics and computingbreakthroughs.
Such a deal could be an alternative to a preliminary, $9-a-share offer by a group led by BlackBerry's biggest shareholder,Canada's Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd.
BlackBerry put itself up for sale in August after lacklustersales for its new devices.
Sources close to the matter have told Reuters thatBlackBerry is in talks with Cisco Systems Inc, GoogleInc and Germany's SAP AG among others, aboutselling them all, or parts of itself. The potential buyers havedeclined to comment.
Blackberry shares turned positive after the news and weretrading at $8.20 on the Nasdaq. The stock has fallen more than20 percent since the company announced a deep loss and sharpfall in revenue in mid-September. (Additional reporting by Solarina Ho; Editing by JeffreyHodgson and Bernard Orr)
- Investment & Company Information
- Mike Lazaridis
- BlackBerry Ltd