Why a Lenovo BlackBerry buy looks like a nonstarter

BlackBerry’s shares got a slight boost on Thursday when rumors circulated for the 12,497th time that Chinese hardware manufacturer Lenovo was interested in buying the firm. But as The Globe and Mail points out, a deal to let Lenovo buy BlackBerry is probably a nonstarter since it’s highly unlikely that the Canadian and American governments would be comfortable letting a Chinese firm buy a company that is responsible for so much security infrastructure. The Globe and Mail notes that the Canadian government “has killed several foreign takeovers under the Investment Canada Act,” including a recent deal that would have sold a Winnipeg-based telecom company to an Egyptian-led group.

“If the Egyptian company raised some red flags for the Canadian government, we should have red fireworks going off if a Chinese company wants to buy BlackBerry,” Michel Juneau-Katsuya, a former top official at the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), told The Globe and Mail. “BlackBerry is the prime phone used by all government officials and top officials… For that reason alone, it shall not and could not be sold to a foreign entity that is not within the realm of [our] close network of friends.”


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