BlackBerry co-founder considers bid for company

Mike Lazaridis. REUTERS FILE PHOTO/Robert Galbraith

Mike Lazaridis. REUTERS FILE PHOTO/Robert Galbraith

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 2:44 PM ET

TORONTO - BlackBerry Ltd co-founder Mike Lazaridis has increased his stake in the struggling smartphone maker and is considering buying the entire company, according to a securities filing on Thursday.

Lazaridis, who now owns 8% of the company, has engaged Goldman Sachs and Centerview Partners LLC to assist with a strategic review of his stake. He held almost 5.7% as of the end of 2012, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Meanwhile, the company plans to close an office in Halifax, putting more than 350 people out of work.

The office is to close Jan. 10.

The company said it will pay back $2 million from the Nova Scotia government that was supposed to be used to build a BlackBerry 10 centre of excellence. That project was announced earlier this year and was supposed to inject about $120 million into the economy over five years.

"We know that our employees in the Halifax area have worked hard on behalf of our company and we are grateful for their commitment and contributions. This is difficult news for them and for the Halifax community. However, these changes are necessary in order to refocus our business to drive the company towards profitability and success in a maturing and more competitive mobile industry," the company said in a statement.

- With files from QMI Agency


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