Lenovo Looking To Buy BlackBerry Ltd [REPORT]

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BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) could be an acquisition target for Lenovo, says a report from Benzinga, citing a source familiar with the news. According to the report, the Chinese group will make an offer of $15 per share to the BlackBerry as early as this week, with the deal finally getting done at around $18 per share.

Lenovo plans smart devices

On Wednesday, Lenovo stated that it is planning to launch its internet-based smart devices on Apr. 1, 2015. Also it was reported that the company will operate under a separate name and brand. A BlackBerry spokesperson told Benzinga that the company would not respond to rumors or speculations, and a Lenovo spokesperson was not available for the comment.

Lenovo CFO Wong Wai Ming said in January 2013 that the Canadian smartphone maker was under consideration from the company. However, BlackBerry declined any such possibility that time. Only last year, the government banned a potential BlackBerry deal with Lenovo due to some national security issues.

BlackBerry shipment estimates lowered

Recently analyst Todd Coupland at CIBC World Markets speculated that the estimated shipment volume for BlackBerry devices for the third and fourth quarters would be weak. Coupland added though that the initial demand for the BlackBerry Passport is encouraging compared to modest expectations. Coupland noted that on Google Trends, there was an increased search interest for the device that was similar to the BB10’s number two devices. Also the Canadian company sold an unexpected 200,000 units of the Passport on the very first day of its launch.

Coupland said, “Shipments, however, are being held back by supply constraints for unique screens and keyboards that will limit any upside in fiscal Q3.”

According to the analyst, demand for BB7 and Z30 devices of BlackBerry is going down, therefore, shipment forecasts for BlackBerry devices have been revised down from 2.3 million units to 1.6 million units for the third quarter. Additionally, for the fourth-quarter, his shipment estimate is down from 2.5 million units to 1.5 million.

BlackBerry CEO John Chen is expecting total shipments to hit 10 million units annually by 2017. Coupland says that the company still has a lot to do to revive its position in hardware before it can achieve its target and expects the company to ship only 6.8 million units in 2016 and 2017.

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