Lenovo Reportedly Seeking Again to Buy BlackBerry

BlackBerry and Lenovo aren't commenting, but for the second time in a year a deal that has Lenovo buying BlackBerry is being rumored.


An offer by Lenovo to buy BlackBerry is again in the news, one year after such a move was previously rumored in November 2013 but was reportedly dashed by Canadian authorities at that time due to security and other concerns.

The latest rumor calls for Lenovo Group, a Chinese company, to make an offer for Canadian-based BlackBerry at $15 per share, according to a report by Benzinga.com, a financial Website. The offer, which was revealed by an unnamed source, could come as early as this week, the story reported.

"The source said Lenovo's first offer would be $15 per share, with a deal ultimately getting done around $18 per share," the story stated.

The previous Lenovo attempt to buy BlackBerry in November 2013 was scuttled when the Canadian government made it very clear that no Chinese company would be purchasing BlackBerry, according to an earlier eWEEK story. Lenovo had very seriously pursued a deal at that time, but Canadian regulators said that they "would not approve a Chinese company buying a company deeply tied into Canada's telecom infrastructure," according to the earlier report.

In January 2013, Lenovo Chief Financial Officer Wong Wai Ming told Bloomberg that Lenovo is always "looking at all opportunities," including BlackBerry and others.

In an email reply to an inquiry from eWEEK, a BlackBerry spokesperson said the company "does not comment on rumors or speculation." Lenovo did not respond to a request for comment.

Charles King, an IT analyst with Pund-IT, said that while the deal is only a rumor so far, it would make sense for Lenovo to continue to pursue BlackBerry.

"Lenovo is obviously an extremely ambitious player, particularly in the mobile space," said King. "It's done extremely well in PCs."

What makes the potential deal even more interesting from a strategic standpoint is that Lenovo bought IBM's System x server business earlier this year, which adds another key dimension for Lenovo's existing business lines.

"Adding a known brand like BlackBerry would allow Lenovo to say, 'We have an end-to-end business solution with products in place' from the [smartphone] computer in your pocket to the one in your briefcase, to the one on your desktop and in your data center," said King. "If they can make it work from a regulatory standpoint, I think it's a viable possibility."