Lenovo May Acquire RIM And Others: CFO
Lenovo is looking into potential acquisitions to build up its mobile device business and RIM is in its cross-hairs. Selling smartphones running on BlackBerry 10 would be a quick way to enter a market without having to develop a new operating system or build new hardware.
With only a few days to go before RIM holds its BlackBerry 10 media event, things are starting to get a little hot and strange. A few days ago, RIM's CEO Thorsten Heins made a statement that didn't make any sense at the time, even if it were true. He declared that RIM was open to licensing the BlackBerry 10 operating system (even before it launched) and even more shockingly that RIM was also open to selling its hardware division as well.
RIM could have been leaking this information on purpose and now Bloomberg is reporting that Lenovo's CFO Wong Wai Ming revealed a possible RIM acquisition in an interview today:
"We are looking at all opportunities -- RIM and many others," Chief Financial Officer Wong Wai Ming said today in an interview at the World Economic Forum's annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland. "We'll have no hesitation if the right opportunity comes along that could benefit us and shareholders."
The PC maker has a team working on possible acquisitions, Wong said. Lenovo has spoken to RIM and its bankers about various combinations or strategic ventures, he said. Wong declined to comment on when the company would make a decision on whether to bid for a mobile-device maker.
Wong said he would carefully consider valuations for all potential deals and noted that RIM's stock price has recently risen back into the double digits."
Bloomberg contacted RIM but RIM declined to comment on a possible Lenovo bid: "We have no update on our strategic review at this time," said Nick Manning, a spokesman for the Waterloo, Ontario-based company.
This news is eerily similar to HP's acquisition of Palm and webOS. Let's hope it doesn't have the same outcome if it happens, especially for RIM's sake.