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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.

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By retrospooty on 9/11/2011 9:04:33 AM , Rating: 2
1. your assuming all of those unhappy marks are due to OS5, and 6 with no info

2. Your assuming anyone goves a crap about OS7, when IOS and Android are already up and running in stride.

I am not saying OS7 isnt good, I am saying its too little too late. No-one cares.

By Pirks on 9/11/2011 11:29:48 AM , Rating: 2
1. No info needed as all these surveys are taken months before mid-August when BB7 started trickling down the North American markets. Hence it's all about one-two year old BB5 and BB6 which are crappy for modern consumer smartphone standards. Fortunatley BB7 got back on track.

2. You assume that gazillions of teens and enterprise users that happily use BBs around the world, not just in the US, do not exist.

I'm not saying iOS and Android are not attacking, they do, but with BB7 they only have fart apps and a few hyped up 3D games like Infinity Blade left as advantage. You can convince yourself that fart apps and 3D games is all that needed to pull all BB users to iOS and Android, fortunately your view of the world does not match the view of all the other smartphone users, especially outside the US where BB is famous for capturing the markets of some conutries almost completely. Try South America, South Africa, a lot of smaller Caribbean/Asian markets which are essentially owned by BB and are untapped resource for future growth and which BB is destined to own, unlike US-centered Android and iPhone designs.

It will take Android and iOS much more to capture those markets than a few clueless US-centric trolls like JM and yourself.

BTW your myth about stock price meaning anything was just debunked in the other thread here about Apple, where multiple people like Alexstarfire declared that market cap means sh1t. See - therefore your hyped up "RIM's market cap decline" doom and gloom is worth the same, i.e. SH!T.

And the fact that you had nothing to say to Alexstarfire and others in the that thread shows that you agree with his sentiments about market cap meaning nothing. Hence you can't stand behind your view (that "market cap is supersignificant") when it's challenged by others like Alexstarfire. What a pitiful softy troll you are :))) I expected you to give Alexstarfire some hard time and challenge his views but you sheep kept so quiet there.

Just proves that you guys troll RIM with no reason whatsoever. Exactly my point from the very beginning here.

I'm not against trolling, it could be fun, I'm just pointing out the real reasons behind it. Mick is Android fanboy, you are RIM hater, and so on. Don't hide those true reasons next time please.

By retrospooty on 9/11/2011 12:43:49 PM , Rating: 2
You are delusional my friend. I am not a RIM hater, I was just pointing out reality to you. A point which your denial field will not accept. If you want to buy RIm products, its your free choice. Realize that the rest of the world is moving on to better things.

I am done on this particular thread. SO, until next time, when a RIM article gets posted about how poorly they are doing lately, and you jump in with your spin trying to (for some unknown reason) convince the world that RIM does not suck... When the world has clearly realized (and more and more each day) that they are done for. Fast forward 2 years and you will be where Palm was a year ago. With a good OS that no-one cares about.

By Pirks on 9/12/2011 12:29:07 AM , Rating: 2
you jump in with your spin trying to convince the world that RIM does not suck
No, I only convinced the world that JM is biased and one should not trust him if one wants to know what RIM is up to.

The rest is your pure fantasy, my friend.

"A politician stumbles over himself... Then they pick it out. They edit it. He runs the clip, and then he makes a funny face, and the whole audience has a Pavlovian response." -- Joe Scarborough on John Stewart over Jim Cramer

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