Telecom & Wireless

Lenovo Eyeing Research In Motion?

BlackBerry Torch Phone (2012)
Source: courtesy of Blackberry
Smartphone maker Research In Motion Ltd. (NASDAQ: RIMM) put up another 52-week high today, surely due to the weakness investors are currently heaping on Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL). Shares are getting an extra boost from comments by the CFO of PC maker Lenovo, who said the company is looking at a number of potential acquisitions and strategic alliances, including one with RIM.

In an interview with Bloomberg News, Wong Wai Ming, Lenovo’s CFO, said:

We are looking at all opportunities — RIM and many others. We’ll have no hesitation if the right opportunity comes along that could benefit us and shareholders.

RIM already has said that it might shed its hardware operations or license its BlackBerry 10 operating system software or both. An experienced hardware firm like Lenovo might be an interested buyer simply because it would shorten the company’s time-to-market. An analyst cited in Bloomberg’s report put it this way:

Long term, we are in a declining PC market. [Lenovo] can leverage the scale they have in PCs to develop the mobile Internet side of the business.

There are, of course, downsides. RIM’s stock is trading at nearly 3x its annual low, taking the smartphone maker’s valuation to near $10 billion. Both the Canadian government and the U.S. government would both have to approve the sale, and that is not automatic.

RIM’s shares are trading up more than 3% today at $17.89m after posting a new 52-week high of $18.32 earlier. The prior range was $6.22 to $18.08.

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