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Founder and former executive of BlackBerry, Mike Lazaridis, has cut his stake in the company.
Mr. Lazaridis reported in a regulatory filing that a holding company he controls sold 3.5 million shares for about $27.4 million. He owned about 5.7 percent of the company. The former executive has, however, offered no explanation for the sale in the filing.
Mr. Lazaridis, BlackBerry’s former co-chairman and co-chief executive, and Douglas E. Fregin, the company’s other founder had announced in October that they were trying to form an investment group to buy BlackBerry, which has been reeling after the failure of its new line of BlackBerry 10 phones. The company has reported a $4.4 billion quarterly loss.
Last month, BlackBerry’s directors abandoned their attempts to find a new buyer. Instead, a group of investors led by Fairfax Financial Holdings, BlackBerry’s largest shareholder, invested $1 billion in convertible debt into the company. At the same time, Thorsten Heins, the chief executive, was replaced by John S. Chen, the former chief executive and chairman of Sybase.
Mr. Lazaridis has been a strong voice in favor of keeping the company’s focus on its formerly market-leading smartphones.