The speculation about BlackBerry’s sale finally ended yesterday when the company announced that it is no longer actively seeking a buyer, instead it has received a $1 billion investment from one of its largest shareholders and other institutional investors. A rather interesting report has surfaced today, courtesy of The Globe and Mail, suggesting that China’s Lenovo was actively considering buying the ailing Canadian manufacturer, but the Canadian government wasn’t too fond of the idea and it put its foot down. Over the past few months, it was rumored multiple times that Lenovo was very interested in bidding for BlackBerry.
The report suggests that Canada’s government wasn’t open to Chinese takeover of BlackBerry due to national security concerns. It apparently made it clear in high level meetings with the company that the government would not approve such a transaction, seeing as how BlackBerry is “deeply tied” into the country’s telecom infrastructure. Seeing as how the government was never going to stand for it, BlackBerry apparently didn’t even consider proposing a situation in which Lenovo might acquire a stake. This isn’t the first telecom related decision that Canadian government has rejected on the basis of national security. Just last month, it rejected an Egyptian billionaire’s bid to buy a division of Manitoba Telecom Services for $520 million. The report cites sources who claim that Lenovo was “very interested” in buying BlackBerry, but the bid might have proved to be disastrous for the company had the government opted for a security review. Not only would it have fueled speculation about the company’s future, it might even have turned off Lenovo to the prospective acquiring BlackBerry. The company wanted a speedy sale, it was apparently looking to be sold by November, but ultimately a sale never materialized.
BlackBerry has instead shown its CEO the door, interim CEO John S. Chen is going to take over and will also become the executive chairman of the board. Meanwhile, the company will continue to search for a permanent CEO. Chen has already said that BlackBerry has no plans to shut its handset business, despite the fact that it has been hemorrhaging money.
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