**Editor's Note: Please click here for a recap of the biggest communications mergers in Q3 2013.**
BlackBerry's co-founders might be ready to make a bid to buy the once-great smartphone manufacturer.
Mike Lazaridis and Douglas Fregin still control about 8 percent of the Canada-based company. The men are considering a challenge to Fairfax Financial Holdings, which recently made its own $4.7 billion bid for the company, Reuters reported. Fairfax currently owns about 10 percent of BlackBerry.
A securities filing by Lazaridis and Fregin at the end of last week sets up the possibility that they will make a bid, or, on the flip side, perhaps sell their shares.
“I think the fact that so many people are interested in buying BlackBerry shows that rumors of its death are greatly exaggerated," noted Yankee Group research director Carl Howe. "BlackBerry is in no immediate danger of going under. What it is looking for, though, is time to re-establish its products in the corporate market, where the productivity and strong security delivered by BlackBerry products are still valued and where alternative products still haven’t caught up to what BlackBerry has off the shelf.
BlackBerry is said to be talking with other potential suitors, including SAP, Cisco and Google.
"Going private – whether it is with Fairfax, the original founders or several other possible suitors, including Google – would buy the company time to refocus on the enterprise market and capitalize on investments it has already made in new products," Howe added. "More importantly, BlackBerry would be able to do so without suffering the quarter-to-quarter bashing it receives from Wall Street for not being Samsung or Apple."
As Apple's iPhone and Google's Android operating system have taken off, BlackBerry has struggled mightily in recent years, particularly in the U.S. and Western Europe. The company unveiled its new operating system earlier this year – BB10 – with limited success. BlackBerry does, however, remain stronger in some less developed markets around the world.
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