BlackBerry may have a found a buyer. According a news alert coming from The Wall Street Journal, Chinese PC manufacturer Lenovo is seriously considering purchasing BlackBerry. Lenovo has apparently signed a non-disclosure agreement so that they can look at BlackBerry's finances. This is a major step, and one that no other company has been reported to have taken yet.
BlackBerry has been on the skids for the last 18-24 months. They basically decided to abandon the consumer smartphone market and focus strictly on the business sector. They also began actively looking for a buyer at around the same time. BlackBerry has declined to comment on this recent news about a potential Lenovo purchase. They are just referring to their previous statement about looking for buyers that was released back in August. Lenovo has also declined to comment.
Lenovo has been rumored to be looking at a BlackBerry purchase. Lenovo's CEO Yang Yuanging said last March that he would be interested in making a deal for BlackBerry, but that the company would need to take a closer look before moving forward.
Lenovo makes its own smartphones, but they have had very little success outside of the Chinese market. BlackBerry could give Lenovo a larger global brand, and the purchase would also come with the connections that BlackBerry has with almost every wireless carrier in the world. Lenovo has also had success with previous acquisitions. In 2005 they purchased IBM's computer business and turned it into the Lenovo brand. BlackBerry is a business focused brand that Lenovo could build on.
Before a deal could be completed, BlackBerry would have to clear regulatory hurdles in both the US and Canada. BlackBerry does business with both governments and has access to sensitive information. Lenovo has a good reputation, but the fact that it is a Chinese company may give western governments pause. BlackBerry also has an offer from FairFax Financial, but investors are worried that FairFax Financial doesn't have enough financial support and backing to complete the purchase.
Do you think Lenovo and BlackBerry would be a good fit? Could Lenovo bring back BlackBerry from the dead?