BlackBerry's co-founders, Mike Lazaridis and Douglas Fregin, are considering weighing in with a counter-bid for the ailing smartphone maker, according to a financial filing made on Thursday.
A bid by the pair would represent an alternative to the tentative $4.7bn bid led by Prem Watsa, the CEO of financial group Fairfax Financial Holdings, which also holds a 10 per cent stake in BlackBerry.
Combined, Lazaridis and Fregin hold an eight per cent stake, while Lazaridis has been adding to his holdings during 2013, according to Thomson Reuters data.
However, according to analysts polled by Reuters, Lazaridis is currently talking to a number of people about the BlackBerry fire sale - including Watsa, who is still putting together his bid consortium.
"He's going to talk to people by himself; he's going to talk to Prem; he's going to talk to everybody," BGC Partners technology analyst Colin Gillis told Reuters.
Foreign buyers, it adds, might be put off by the formal review process that will be required under the national security clause of the Investment Canada Act, but the country also has several pension funds that might be interested in backing a takeover.
Lazaridis signed a confidentiality agreement with BlackBerry on Monday, according to the filing, which will entitle him to peruse the company's accounts in detail.
Lazaridis and Fregin founded the company, then called Research In Motion, in 1985. It grew fast on the back of a two-way paging service in the 1990s, which morphed into the keyboarded smartphone that became popular in the 2000s.