It looks like BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) may have yet another suitor. Dana Mattioli and Dana Cimilluca of The Wall Street Journal report that Lenovo Group Ltd. (OTCMKTS:LNVGY) (HKG:0992) is thinking about making the struggling Canadian company an offer.
Speculation about BlackBerry and Lenovo
Since BlackBerry put itself on the market, several analysts have been speculating that Lenovo might be interested in it. However, this is one of the earliest indications that there might actually be some truth to those speculations.
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According to The WSJ’s sources, Lenovo Group Ltd. (OTCMKTS:LNVGY) (HKG:0992) signed a non-disclosure agreement so that it could review BlackBerry’s financial books. If BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) would end up reaching a deal with Lenovo, it would surely be met with regulatory scrutiny by the U.S. and Canada because this would be one of the largest acquisitions of a Western company by a Chinese company.
Unfortunately for BlackBerry, Lenovo doesn’t have a great track record with acquisitions. Since the Chinese company bought International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM)’s PC business in 2005, complaints of declining quality of plagued the company.
Other possible suitors for BlackBerry
The sources also said other companies have been circling BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) recently with the aim of possibly making the company an offer. Other parties which have been said to be interested in the company include BlackBerry co-founder Mike Lazaridis, who recently filed a regulatory document stating he was interested. Also Cerberus Capital Management has been reported to be interested in BlackBerry.
All of this rumored interest comes in the wake of a preliminary deal with a consortium led by Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd (OTCMKTS:FRFHF) (TSE:FFH), one of Blackberry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB)’s largest shareholders. That deal is worth $4.7 billion, and BlackBerry will have to pay a fine if it walks away. It is still subject to due diligence, however, and there’s speculation that it won’t happen. Some say Fairfax won’t be able to line up the necessary financing, while others speculate that BlackBerry’s financial situation will not pass Fairfax’s due diligence process.