BlackBerry is once again the subject of takeover speculation, with its share price surging following rumours Chinese electronics giant Lenovo is interested in launching a bid for the company.
The speculation was first reported by Benzinga, citing “a source familiar with the matter” who claimed the bid could come “as early as this week”.
In January and March of last year, senior figures from Lenovo including chief executive Yang Yuanqing publicly expressed interest in a possible takeover of BlackBerry. It is believed to have expressed interest after Canadian investment tycoon Prem Watsa launched a $US4.7 billion takeover bid for the company.
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However, it failed to launch a formal bid as a result of Canadian government foreign investment rules, with Watsa’s bid eventually falling short and turnaround expert John Chen subsequently appointed chief executive.
In August, BlackBerry split its high-growth investments into a separate division in embedded devices, the internet of things, antenna technology and patents into a separate division called BTS. It is unclear whether BTS and messaging business BBM would be included in any takeover, or just the company’s smartphone business.
In January, Lenovo agreed to purchase smartphone maker Motorola off Google for $US2.91 billion, with Yuanqing recently expressing his interest in returning the brand to the tablet market. It has previously bought the PC division off IBM in 2005, growing it into the largest PC maker in the world by market share, as well as IBM’s server business in January of this year.