Lenovo still looking at potential BlackBerry deal

China-based Lenovo Group Ltd. is still eyeing the possibility of acquiring Canadian smart phone maker BlackBerry.

“As for BlackBerry, the file could eventually make sense, but I must first analyze the market and understand the exact weight of this company,” Yang Yuanquing, Lenovo’s CEO said in an interview Monday with the French newspaper Les Echos.

Earlier in January Wong Wai Ming, CFO for Lenovo was also quoted in the media as saying that the computer company was “looking at all opportunities” and that one of them was BlackBerry.

Yang’s remarks on Monday, which fueled fresh talks of a possible takeover coupled with the announcement by American carrier AT&T Inc, that it will begin selling BlackBerry Z10 touchscreen smart phones in the United States next week, sent BlackBerry’s share price up by 14 per cent at $14.90 on Nasdaq yesterday. Toronto-listed shares were up 13.8 per cent at $15.29.

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However, according to newswire service Reuters, a spokesperson for Lenovo Canada was quick to douse speculations. The spokesperson said Yang’s statement was not an indication of “activity or strategic direction.”

Industry analysts also said the likelihood of a Lenovo takeover of BlackBerry was remote.

Acquiring BlackBerry would be difficult according to Brian Colello, analyst for Morningstar Inc. because Canada treats the smart phone company and its patents as “a bit of a crown jewel and would not rule lightly on a takeover.”

A takeover of Blackberry was unlikely in the near term and its investment thesis is “outperform rating” based on such an event, according to Maynard Um, analyst for Wells Fargo.

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