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Prem Watsa Now RIM’s Biggest Shareholder

While the whole world is blaming RIM for making the wrong decisions, it doesn’t seem to matter much to billionaire investor Prem Watsa. The Waterloo-based company has been struggling to bring the BlacckBerry brand back to the top… With Android handset manufacturers and Apple leading the way, it might seem a little odd for an investor to place his stake on a struggling smartphone maker.
The wealthy investor from Fairfax Financial is RIM’s biggest shareholder. Watsa now has almost 10% of RIM’s shares. That’s twice more than RIM’s previous CEOs who left the company several years ago. Watsa is the Canadian version of Bill Gates and with him onboard, things will really get interesting. His stake in the company will surely be felt…
No one at RIM has made a comment about the move but if there’s one thing Watsa is committed to, it’s to never give up on the company that placed Canada on the map. He aggressively defended RIM over the past few months…

He further went on saying RIM will not fall apart. With plenty of cash reserves, BlackBerry will be reinvigorated next year thanks to huge product changes and new marketing strategies. RIM is still sitting pretty with millions of corporate customers behind its back and over $2 billion of cash and valuable assets.
Despite Watsa’s move, some still believe the company will continue to lose money. Of course, RIM’s fortunes will turn around if the BlackBerry 10 operating system does become successful. One analyst says Watsa’s presence would hardly make a difference. RIM still performs poorly, especially in North America and Europe… The company does well in a few other countries like South Africa but this isn’t enough.
RIM’s latest quarterly earnings don’t sound as promising since the company lost a little over half a billion dollars. Poor sales and ineffective marketing strategies pinned the company down. Many are very disappointed that RIM delayed its highly touted BlackBerry 10 platform to early next year. RIM’s shares fell further after the delay was announced a few weeks ago.
Shares sank to an all-time low of $6.56 recently. They increased briefly and eventually rose back to $6.85. Regardless of the criticism, having Watsa onboard is a positive sign for RIM. With major internal changes and a new marketing strategy, things may improve for the Waterloo-based company, but that won’t be the case before the BlackBerry 10 platform makes its debuts early 2013.
This article was written by Phil J. Watson. Want to read more from him? Check out his recent article on BlackBerry Desktop Manager

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