RIM Shares Rise On Report Of Lenovo Takeover Interest

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LENOVO RIM BUYOUT
RIM CEO Thorsten Heins. Shares in Waterloo, Ont.-based Research in Motion rose as much as six per cent today as markets reacted to a report that Chinese PC maker Lenovo would be interested in acquiring the BlackBerry maker. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg) | AP

Shares in Waterloo, Ont.-based Research in Motion rose as much as six per cent today as markets reacted to a report that Chinese PC maker Lenovo would be interested in acquiring the BlackBerry maker.

RIM shares were up 66 cents, or 3.82 per cent, at $17.96 in afternoon trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange on heavy volume.

The report, by Bloomberg, quoted Lenovo CFO Wong Wai Ming in an interview at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, as having discussed possible partnerships or strategic ventures.

“We are looking at all opportunities — RIM and many others,” he said.

“We’ll have no hesitation if the right opportunity comes along that could benefit us and shareholders.”

Lenovo acquired the PC unit of IBM in 2005 to become the world's second-largest computer manufacturer.

TAKEOVER WOULD FACE HURDLES

An outright takeover would face considerable hurdles.

BlackBerries are used by the U.S. military, which raises questions about the willingness of the Americans to have RIM’s technology come under Chinese ownership.

RIM CEO Thorsten Heins has also said he is reluctant to expand in China, expressing concerns about protecting the security of its networks.

The Canadian government has said in the past it would prefer that RIM remain a Canadian company and would conduct any bid to a review to determine if it was of "net benefit" to Canada.

Just yesterday, Prime Minister Stephen Harper declined to comment on the subject of a possible review of a takeover of the company.

RIM, which has been conducting a strategic review of its options, did not comment on the report. It has said in the past that the review has not ruled out being acquired, but was not the leading option.

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