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Ottawa killed a potential Lenovo takeover of Blackberry

The Canadian government blocked the deal due to “national security concerns”.


Lenovo never made a formal takeover offer for Blackberry because Canadian government officials told Blackberry in meetings they would not approve a Chinese company buying the smartphone maker.

Canada’s Globe and Mail reports Canadian officials had grave concerns about a Chinese firm buying a company so closely tied into Canada’s corporate and governmental infrastructure.

“We have been pretty consistent that the message is Canada is open to foreign investment and investment from China in particular but not at the cost of compromising national security,” a source told the Globe.

While most large Chinese companies are state-owned enterprises, Lenovo, like telecom manufacturer Huawei are two of the few exceptions. Lenovo is a publicly held company with operations around the world.

Sources that spoke to the Globe said that Lenovo at one time was willing and ready to make a deal with Blackberry, but both firms weren’t prepared to spend months in a costly national security review that could potentially kill the deal.

Currently Blackberry is in the process of receiving $1-billion in cash from Fairfax Financial Holdings in order to provide bridge funds until the company can restructure itself.

Source: The Globe and Mail

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