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BlackBerry founders looking at buying company

TORONTO (AP) - BlackBerry founders Mike Lazaridis and Douglas Fregin are weighing taking over the struggling smartphone company as it searches for a buyer.

Lazaridis said Thursday in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that he and Fregin are looking to potentially acquire the 92 percent of the shares they don't currently own, either by themselves or with other interested parties.

Their announcement is the latest sign of investor interest in BlackBerry after the company launched a review to consider a possible sale or break-up of its operations. The Canadian company announced last month that Fairfax Financial Holdings, which owns close to 10 percent of the company, signed a letter of intent that "contemplates" buying BlackBerry for $9 a share, or $4.7 billion.

The BlackBerry, pioneered in 1999, was once the dominant smartphone for on-the-go business people and other consumers. President Barack Obama couldn't bear to part with his BlackBerry. It could be so addictive that it was nicknamed "the CrackBerry." But a new generation of competing smartphones made the device suddenly look ancient.