Number of RIM institutional shareholders supporting Jaguar's call for change continues to increase
Collective ownership of supportive shareholders in RIM stands at 8%
Supportive shareholders approve Jaguar's call for change in corporate governance and pursuit of value creative transaction
TORONTO, Oct. 11, 2011 /CNW/ - Jaguar Financial Corporation ("Jaguar") (TSX: JFC), a shareholder of Research In Motion Limited ("RIM" or the "Company"), announced today an increase in the number of institutional shareholders who support Jaguar's call for RIM to fix its governance problems and to pursue a value creative transaction such as a sale, merger or division into separate public companies.
Shareholders supportive of Jaguar own 8% of the total issued shares of RIM and Jaguar is in discussions with additional institutional shareholders.
None of the supportive shareholders have any agreement with any of the other supportive shareholders including Jaguar pertaining to any matter including the purchase, sale, ownership or voting of RIM shares.
Vic Alboini, Chairman and CEO of Jaguar stated: "Our game plan is to gain the support of shareholders representing a significant number of RIM shares. Our supportive shareholders approve Jaguar's plan to negotiate, at this point in time, changes in governance and the pursuit of a value creation transaction."
Elimination of Management Dominance
Mr. Alboini stated: "A culture of management dominance at RIM must be eliminated and replaced by proper governance oversight by a committed tech-oriented Board that challenges the technical direction of management. Management dominance must be supplanted by a collaborative partnership relationship between management and the Board."
RIM failed to appoint any Chairman at all during the 2006 to 2009 period. The lack of Board oversight and absence of an independent Chairman allowed one of the two Co-CEOs to chase his dream of buying an NHL hockey team during the same period. Despite this unfocused performance by management and RIM's subsequent underperformance, there were no consequences. Instead of consequences, the underperforming Co-CEOs were rewarded by being appointed as Co-Chairmen.
"No Chairman and a management team not fully focused during a crucial four year period resulted in a leaderless company, a problem that remains today" added Mr. Alboini.
"The path to negotiated change is precise and clear; it is not paved with uncertainty. It is time for meaningful and obvious change. At the Board level, RIM needs an independent Chairman and new directors with substantial technology experience."
At the management level, there is no doubt that the Co-CEOs deserve historical credit for RIM's past successes, and they have been first class entrepreneurs. But their time as builders is over. There are signs of a broken organizational structure, which is highlighted by several key employee departures. In addition, management has failed to appreciate RIM's competitive environment, which largely explains RIM's declining market presence and dramatically reduced share price. RIM has become a reactionary company trying to compete in an innovative industry.
"A transformative and respected leader is exactly what RIM needs at this stage to reorient the culture, recalibrate its competitive positioning and revive the spirit of invention", said Mr. Alboini.
Dramatic and Swift Changes in the Tech Industry
The tech industry changes quickly and dramatically where previous leaders like Nokia and Motorola are no longer industry leaders. RIM had first mover advantage but ceded its position and is now playing catch-up in a dynamic industry where others such as Apple, Google, Microsoft, Samsung and HTC have jumped into the pole position.
When tech companies falter, Boards do take action: Carol Bartz is no longer CEO of Yahoo!; Leo Apotheker was recently dismissed from Hewlett-Packard; and Motorola split into two companies and brought in new management. Google also made a change in the ruling triumvirate not that long ago when Larry Page was appointed as CEO to replace Eric Schmidt.
It is time for RIM's independent directors to step up and bring in a transformational CEO as well as a strong and respected independent Chairman. These two appointments will address the historical lack of attention and oversight at the Board level, and the need for a laser beam focus by management on RIM's business rather than distractions such as a professional hockey team.
Value Creation Process
The RIM Board needs to carefully examine its strategic options, some of which could bring a substantial increase in equity value. Jaguar's supportive shareholders are very focused on transactions that can restore shareholder value, such as a sale of RIM, a merger or splitting RIM into three separate public companies: a network company, a device company, and a patent company.
RIM shareholders who support Jaguar's efforts to encourage the RIM Board to begin a value maximization process can contact Jaguar at 416-363-1124 or by e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jaguar is a Canadian merchant bank which invests in underperforming, undervalued or unappreciated companies and acts as a catalyst to create value. Jaguar's track record includes the following gross annualized gains: Century II Holdings Inc. (134%); HudBay Minerals Inc. (105%); Kinbauri Gold Corp. (113%); RAND A Technology Corporation (25%); and Virtek Vision International Inc. (46%).
The Toronto Stock Exchange does not accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this news release. This press release may contain forward-looking statements with respect to the Company, its operations, strategy, financial performance and condition. These statements generally can be identified by use of forward looking words such as "may", "will", "expect", "estimate", "anticipate", intends", "believe" or "continue" or the negative thereof or similar variations. The actual results and performance of the Company discussed herein could differ materially from those expressed or implied by such statements. Such statements are qualified in their entirety by the inherent risks and uncertainties surrounding future expectations. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from expectations include, among other things, general economic and market factors, and competition. The cautionary statements qualify all forward-looking statements attributable to the Company and persons acting on their behalf. Unless otherwise stated, all forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this press release and the Company has no obligation to update such statements.
For further information:
Vic Alboini, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer
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Kyler Wells, General Counsel & Corporate Secretary