BUSINESS

Lenovo May Bid For BlackBerry: Report

10/17/2013 03:50 EDT
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Steve Ballmer, chief executive officer of Microsoft Corp., holds up a Lenovo Group Ltd. computer tablet while delivering the keynote during the Microsoft Build Developers Conference in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Wednesday, June 26, 2013. Facebook Inc. is building an application for Microsoft Corp.'s Windows 8, adding one of the most popular programs still missing from the operating system designed to help Microsoft gain tablet customers. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Chinese computer giant Lenovo is considering a bid for all of BlackBerry, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

The company, which has been marketing ThinkPad laptops since it bought the line from IBM in 2005, has signed a non-disclosure agreement with BlackBerry in order to get a look at its books, the Journal reported.

Lenovo joins a growing list of investors looking at a potential bid for the struggling smartphone maker. So far, the only solid bid is from Fairfax Financial Holdings, the holding company controlled by billionaire investor Prem Watsa. Fairfax offered $4.7 billion for BlackBerry last month, shortly after the company announced $965 million in losses for the second quarter, and job cuts that will reduce staff at the company by about 40 per cent.

Since then, reports have suggested that BlackBerry co-founders Mike Lazaridis and Douglas Fregin are also interested in placing a bid for BlackBerry. Cerberus Capital Management, a U.S.-based equity firm, is also reportedly interested.

Hints of Lenovo's interest in BlackBerry have been reported before. CEO Yang Yuanqing told a French newspaper in March that Lenovo is interested in the smartphone maker, and that a purchase would make sense.

The purchase of BlackBerry by a foreign company would have to pass muster with the federal government, which could block such a deal under the Investment Canada Act if it's found not to be a "net benefit to Canada."

BlackBerry recently registered to lobby the federal government on foreign investment issues.

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