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Shareholder calls for RIM to sell itself or its patents, in critical open letter

Amar Toor, @amartoo
September 7, 2011
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Things just keep getting bleaker for RIM. With its revenues stagnating and smartphone market share dwindling, the BlackBerry maker is now facing new financial pressure from Jaguar Financial Group -- a Canadian merchant bank and RIM shareholder that's calling upon the company to do one of two rather unpleasant things: sell itself, or sell its patent portfolio. In an open letter to RIM's board of directors, Jaguar CEO Vic Alboni criticized the manufacturer for failing to "inspire consumer enthusiasm" for its products, and for bringing its devices to market too late. And, as share prices continue to drop, Alboni thinks it's time to make a change:

The status quo is not acceptable, the company cannot sit still. It is time for transformational change. The directors need to seize the reins to maximize shareholder value before more market value is lost.

Jaguar didn't specify the size of its RIM stake, but claimed to be calling for upheaval on behalf of "other supportive shareholders" who, in total, hold less than five percent of the company. The Ontario-based firm is hoping that a new line of QNX-based smartphones will curtail its slump, but Alboni doesn't sound so optimistic. "You cannot put all your eggs in one basket," he told Bloomberg. "The board should be saying, 'What if these products don't pan out?' You don't want RIM to turn into another Nortel." A RIM spokeswoman, meanwhile, declined to comment on the letter. Hit up the source link below to read it for yourself.

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