In an statement today, Vic Alboini of Jaguar Financial, an investor in RIM, said that the company should consider all options to boost investor’s returns, including selling off the company or its patents, reports Jim Dalrymple of The Loop.
“The status quo is not acceptable, the Company cannot sit still,” said Alboini. “It is time for transformational change. The Directors need to seize the reins to maximize shareholder value before more market value is lost.”
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RIM’s stock has lost over half of its value this year alone and has dropped over 80% since 2008. After Northwest and Ethical called for co-CEO’s Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis to split up their shared roles, which includes the Chairman’s position, RIM merely agreed to take a look at the proposal and report back by January of next year. This is a reaction that Alboini says was inadequate and an “extreme example that management has not let go.”
RIM has been in a tailspin of late, largely due to its failure to recognize the shifting landscape of the smartphone market and the lackluster performance of its PlayBook tablet. The PlayBook was the first product using the QNX operating system that RIM plans to use for smartphones coming up in 2012, which many consider to be too little, too late.
Alboini, with the support of several small investors in RIM, urged the company not to wait until it was too late to consider all options, stating, “the board should be saying, ‘What if these products don’t pan out?’ You don’t want RIM to turn into another Nortel.”
Nortel’s patents were sold off earlier this year to a consortium of manufacturers that included RIM itself. This led many including our own Mike Vardy, to ask what help purchasing those patents gave RIM and if they weren’t following a path that would lead them to become the next Nortel-esque cautionary tale.
Whatever course RIM takes, it’s clear that investors aren’t happy with the current direction of the company and if next year’s QNX devices don’t do enough to bolster the flagging giant, then we may have one less major competitor in the smartphone wars sooner than you think.