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Jim Basillie and Mike Lazaridis have come under fire from investors of Research in Motion, who insist major change is needed.  (Source: RIM)

A sale to a rival, such as Google, is one possible solution, according to investors.  (Source: Despuesdegoogle)
Two separate proposals suggest sale of intellectual property and shakeup of executive ranks

Waterloo, Ontario-based Research in Motion, Ltd. (TSE:RIM) circa 2006-2007 appeared unstoppable.  The company was beloved by businesses worldwide and was growing fast in market share and sales.  Even Democratic Presidential hopeful Sen. Barrack Obama was deeply attached to his BlackBerry smartphone.

I. Should RIM Sell Itself?

Fast-forward five years and that vibrant company is an increasingly distant memory.  In its place is a company with a slow pace of releases, dated hardware (
the Blackberry 9860, to launch in October, will be BlackBerry's first and only smartphone this fall to compete with Apple, Inc.'s (AAPL) iPhone and Google Inc.'s (GOOG) Android hardware-wise).  Unsurprisingly sales growth has slumped both in the U.S. and abroad.  Correspondingly, the company's stock has taken a beating at the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Investors, desperate to see a turnaround, have implored RIM to explore a pair of options.

The latest effort suggests that RIM sell its rich catalog of intellectual property -- or perhaps sell its entire business to the highest bidder.  Investors salivated at Google's 
recent purchase of Motorola Mobility, which brought a handsome return for shareholders.  A RIM sale would help investors recoup their losses and perhaps even profit.

Google and others are thought to be potential buyers.

The proposal is being spearheaded by Jaguar Financial Corp. (
TSE:JFC).  JFC refuses to reveal the size of its stake in RIM, but it says it represents a coalition of various shareholders who together hold a bit under 5 percent of the company's stock (RIM has a market cap of $16.45B USD at present, so this works out to roughly $822M USD in stock).

II. Second Proposal Suggests Shakeup in Top Executive Positions

JFC CEO Vic Alboini also expressed dismay at the company's lackluster response to a second independent proposal.  

The Northwest & Ethical Investments LP in June said that RIM's Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis's decision to split Chairman and CEO duties was adversely affecting the company.  They suggested the company assign one executive to each post.

RIM agreed to examine the proposal, but said they probably wouldn't get around to announcing their thoughts until January 2012.  Mr. Alboini called that slow response "woefully inadequate" and "an extreme example that management has not let go."

III. If QNX Bid Fails Will RIM Become Nortel 2.0?

Mr. Alboini is also pessimistic about RIM's last-ditch turnaround effort with its new QNX operating system.  The new operating system, which debuted on the company's PlayBook tablet, is
scheduled to roll out to the company's smartphones next year, replacing the veteran BlackBerry operating system.

Thus far, however, QNX has 
drawn mixed reviews, with many saying the best thing about it is the ability to play (some) Android apps on it.  However, many fear that Google may close that route as more RIM devices adopt QNX.

While Mr. Alboini admits that it could have a positive impact, he says the cost of failure is to great to gamble by counting on such a success.  He remarks in a Bloomberg 
interview, "The board should be saying, 'What if these products don’t pan out?' You don’t want RIM to turn into another Nortel."

Nortel Networks, like RIM, used to be a highly prized Canadian mobile services firm.  But stagnation 
bred an eventual bankruptcy and fire sale of the company's intellectual property in a bid by shareholders to recoup part of their losses.

Mr. Alboini fears RIM could eventually meet a similar fate and says the time to act is now.  And he's not alone.  In a highly publicized letter, a departing executive 
lashed out at the company's leadership for failing to respond to the changing market.  He remarked, "I have lost confidence. While I hide it at work, my passion has been sapped. I know I am not alone..."

RIM categorically rejected the criticism, insisting it was doing just fine.



Comments     Threshold


This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

By Ravynmagi on 9/8/2011 10:44:58 AM , Rating: 2
No offense, but it kinda seems like your the one trolling or at least being a bit fanboy-actical. Most of the world sees where Blackberry is going. Apple and Google continue to grow their market share and the expense of Blackberry that is rapidly declining.

You don't see people talking about the "good" stuff about Blackberry because I don't think most of us care about the new OS or hardware. Majority of people are far more excited about the iPhone 5 and new Android 4.0 coming this fall, than anything RIM is working on.

It would be nice if Blackberry could be more competitive. But when people think Blackberry, they just thinking boring business email phone with a few apps. They haven't done nearly enough to change that image (hard to say if they even tried).


By Pirks on 9/8/2011 12:42:13 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
and the expense of Blackberry that is rapidly declining
This bullsh!t was debunked a few months ago by one of the market analysts, here's what he wrote about this "US marketshare" lunacy you anti-RIM trolls love to spit around:

"The BlackBerry has 40% smartphone market share in 2009, but total smartphones in the US as a percentage of all cell phones was only 19%. So RIM had 40% of a 19% market. Fast forward to 2011. Smartphones now account for 40% of all cell phones in the US. And RIM's share is down to 24.7%. If I was running a business selling smartphones, I'd prefer 24.7% of 40% over 40% of 19% everyday of the week"

Do you understand now why your funny "US marketshare" bullsh!t is irrelevant?
quote:
You don't see people talking about the "good" stuff about Blackberry because I don't think most of us care about the new OS or hardware.
This does not explain why Mick only posts the minor bad news about RIM and carefully avoids posting anything major and good. He is clearly biased troll, probably paid by RIM competitors. If he were NOT a biased troll, he would post NOTHING about RIM at all . Got it?
quote:
They haven't done nearly enough to change that image (hard to say if they even tried).
Oh yeah, they released new products that have NOTHING common with their old boring business-only devices, they SOLD THEM ALL OUT immediately (try to get Bold 99xx now, haha :P) and you trying to troll here telling me they didn't even try? How dumb and ignorant must you be to act like that? Do you want Lazaridis to give you head or something in order to change you mind? You want RIM to present you with a call girl or a new Ferrari? What else do you want from them so that you f*cking NOTICE anything they do?

Well, at least you notice nothing, you're just blind and pretend that being blind is normal. That's fine with me, but Mick is way worse, he's not blind, he carefully selects bad news and carefully rejects good news about RIM. He does not know what integrity and objectivity is, he's just another soldout, meh...


By retrospooty on 9/8/2011 2:40:15 PM , Rating: 2
"No offense, but it kinda seems like your the one trolling or at least being a bit fanboy-actical. Most of the world sees where Blackberry is going"

True... and thanks. I think Pirks is in some major denial here. hee hee hee


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