Rapper-turned-entrepreneur Nono Pearson wants to buy a controlling stake in RIM. But not with money. Known in hip hop as Big Reality, Nono has proposed to buy Research In Motion with pre-IPO stock of his five-year-old New York company, United Vision Marketing firm.
“Our intentions are to buy a controlling share of RIM in a stock swap deal, basically just a reverse takeover of a private company acquiring a public company,” Mr. Pearson explained in an interview with the Financial Post. “A lot of people think this is like a joke," he added. "They don’t understand this is possible.”
With analysts suggesting that RIM is quickly running out of potential suitors, perhaps his idea isn't completely ludicrous. But UVMF is only worth $4.5 billion, based on him recently putting 35% of the company for sale at $1.6 billion—merely two-thirds of RIM's current value of roughly $7-billion valuation.
Nono did, however, describe his offer as "negotiable" and hinted that he is in a position to offer "some cash" in addition to company stock. But there is yet another wrinkle: UVMF is fighting recent accusations of selling fake stock. Ruh-roh.
Of course, RIM isn't perfect either. They're facing a fresh round of patent infringement litigation, and, as Nono notes, the company culture "is not heavy with creativity."
Ultimately, the rapper says that his offer is "not that far fetched." RIM wouldn't comment on the matter.