BlackBerry shares surged 14 percent higher on Monday, fuelled by takeover speculation and news that AT&T will start selling the new BlackBerry Z10 touch-screen smartphone in the US on March 22.
The speculation was sparked by a comment from the head of China’s Lenovo Group, who told a French newspaper on Monday that the personal computer maker might consider an acquisition of Canada’s BlackBerry at some point in the future.
“External growth remains a question of opportunities,” Yang Yuanqing, Lenovo’s chief executive, told Les Échos.
“As for BlackBerry, the file could eventually make sense, but I must first analyse the market and understand the exact weight of this company,” he replied to a question about whether Lenovo would bid for the smartphone maker.
BlackBerry, a smartphone pioneer, has bled market share to Apple’s iPhone, Samsung Electronics’ Galaxy and other devices powered by Google’s Android operating system.
In a make-or-break move to regain market share and return to profit, BlackBerry introduced the Z10 smartphone to much fanfare in January, and said it was abandoning its old name, Research In Motion.
Analysts, however, poured cold water on the speculation that the Chinese technology firm would move on BlackBerry.
“We believe a takeout of BlackBerry is unlikely, especially in the near term,” Wells Fargo analyst Maynard Um said.
A spokesman for Lenovo in Canada also downplayed the chief executive’s comment, saying: “In no way was this an indication of activity or strategic direction.” – Reuters