Jaguar pushes RIM for 'transformational change'
An investment bank with holdings in Research In Motion is urging fellow shareholders to push the BlackBerry maker to explore its strategic options, including potentially selling or splitting up the company.
Jaguar Financial Corp. says directors of the Waterloo, Ont.-based technology company should consider spinning off its patent portfolio into a separate company.
The chief executive of the Toronto-based investment bank said in a statement that RIM needs a transformational change before its market value is lost.
"The status quo is not acceptable, the company cannot sit still. It is time for transformational change," said Vic Alboini, Jaguar's chairman and CEO.
Jaguar noted that RIM's stock has fallen from a peak of $149.90 in June 2008 to $29.59 on Sept. 2.
The investment bank's public statement comes amid months of reports that RIM's board and management were under pressure from shareholders seeking a shakeup of the company, best known for its BlackBerry smartphones.
In particular, there have been calls for a change at the top executives. The chairman and chief executive roles are currently shared by Mike Lazaridis, one of RIM's co-founders, and Jim Balsillie.
There has also been a re-evaluation of the value of patents held by technology firms since Nortel's portfolio was auctioned off for $4.5 billion — about four times more than anticipated — to a group that included RIM.
Jaguar is a Canadian merchant bank that often takes an activist shareholder role.