Rumored BlackBerry acquisition unlikely to happen

The merger talks get dismissed, but investors shouldn't give up hope just yet.

By Benzinga Mar 13, 2013 2:27PM
Businessman in car with smartphone copyright Image Source, Image Source, Getty ImagesBy Louis Bedigian

Earlier this week BlackBerry (BBRY) gained a much-needed boost after the company announced the domestic release date for the Z10. The smartphone maker also benefited from renewed speculation of a Lenovo takeover.

Lenovo and BlackBerry have been rumored to merge since last year. While the company had wholeheartedly dismissed the rumor that it would acquire Nokia (NOK), Lenovo execs seem much more interested in taking control of the BlackBerry empire.

Two months ago Lenovo's CFO, Wong Wai Ming, was quoted as saying that BlackBerry (known as Research In Motion at the time) was one of many opportunities the company was looking at.

"We'll have no hesitation if the right opportunity comes along that could benefit us and shareholders," he told Bloomberg.

Days after the interview was published, Lenovo execs attempted to stifle Ming's comments with a brief statement about its stance on M&As.

"In general, we do not comment on M&A rumors or speculation," the statement read. "We are aware that Lenovo's CFO [Wong Wai Ming] was speaking broadly about M&A strategy in a recent interview. RIM was raised as a potential target by the journalist and Mr. Wong repeatedly answered in a manner consistent with all of our previous statements on M&A strategy: Lenovo is very focused on growing its business, both organically and through M&A. When inorganic ideas arise, we explore them to see if there is a strategic fit."

Earlier this week it seemed as if an inorganic idea had finally presented itself.

Lenovo CEO Yang Yuanquig told that a BlackBerry buyout "could possibly make sense."

"External growth is all about opportunities," he said, according to the Google (GOOG) translation. "You can not rely solely on it to develop. So we will rely primarily on our own forces, while remaining vigilant on the market and its players. As for BlackBerry, the file could possibly make sense. But first I have to analyze the market well and understand what is the exact weight of this company."

Clearly the translation is not exact. Nonetheless, Yuanquig's comments have reignited speculation for the takeover.

Investors should not get their hopes up just yet, however. According to DigiTimes, the merger is unlikely to ever occur.

Taiwan-based sources told the publication that Canada "may not approve the acquisition due to Lenovo['s] status as a large China-based enterprise."

Indeed, the Canadian government has been one of the greatest concerns for those that may be interested in BlackBerry. As one of the largest companies in Canada, it could be difficult for any firm to take control of the smartphone maker.

More from Benzinga 
Mar 13, 2013 8:27PM
Blackberry is doomed. Lenovo should not bother wasting their resources.
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