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Lenovo thinking of buying RIM?

Lenovo thinking of buying RIM?
Less than a week before RIM is expected to introduce the BlackBerry 10 OS, and its new BlackBerry Z10 and BlackBerry X10 handsets, it might have become the target of Chinese handset manufacturer Lenovo. The latter's CFO, Wong Wai Ming, said that the company has had talks with RIM's bankers and the Canadian firm itself to discuss strategic alliances and various combinations. The executive was speaking at the World Economic Forum's annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland.

But a Lenovo spokesman said that Wong was responding to a question posed by a journalist and was giving a response about Lenovo's broad M&A strategy. RIM has captured the attention of the smartphone industry as leaked videos show the new BlackBerry Z10 holding its own against the Apple iPhone 5. But even with the stock nearly tripling off of its lows, RIM CEO Thorsten Heins says that RIM would consider selling the hardware division and licensing its software.

RIM's CEO earlier this week also said that RIM would consider a strategic alliance, even after the January 30th unveiling of BlackBerry 10. Any deal for the entire company would face regulatory battles in Canada where the Prime Minister has called the company a national "crown jewel," and Canada's Industry Minister Christian Paradis said that even a sale of the handset business could lead to a review before a deal was closed. A Lenovo deal for RIM would probably face U.S. regulatory review as well, since some government agencies in the U.S. still rely on the security of BlackBerry phones.

At least one analyst says that this talk of a Lenovo-RIM merger is all rubbish. "Anybody who's serious about buying a company doesn't go talking it up... It sounds to me like a comment made more for publicity's sake than a serious approach for RIM," said Charter Equity analyst Ed Snyder. "It is a very long shot at the best."

source: Reuters

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