“We are looking at all opportunities — RIM and many others,” Chief Financial Officer Wong Wai Ming said to Bloomberg. “We’ll have no hesitation if the right opportunity comes along that could benefit us and shareholders.”
Mr. Wong said to Bloomberg that in the light of a shrinking P.C market, Lenovo is considering strategic acquisitions to insulate its business.
RIM had no comment on the matter.
“We have no update on our strategic review at this time,” said Nick Manning, a spokesman for the Waterloo, Ontario-based company.
These comments by Lenovo’s CFO — which enjoys a close relationship with the Chinese government — comes days after the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology issued a policy urging companies to aggressively explore overseas mergers and alliances.
The ministry’s dictum says China should have five to eight I.T companies with sales of at least 100 billion yuan ($16 billion USD) by 2015.
It is unclear if a foreign takeover of RIM would trigger a review under the Investment Canada Act.
Last year, when speculation that RIM would be purchased by either Microsoft or Samsung, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said to the press that RIM was an “important Canadian company,” leading to speculation that the government may block a foreign takeover.
Terry Beech, an Adjunct Professor at Simon Fraser University’s Faculty of Business, and CEO of HiretheWorld.com, told Hardware Canucks at the time RIM couldn’t be considered a strategic asset to Canada in the same fashion as PotashCorp.
“The value of RIM is highly intellectual, which means you’re only really as good as the quality of your patents and the quality of your people,” Mr. Beech told Hardware Canucks. “RIM stock is falling for a reason, and there isn’t much the government will be able to do about it.”
“This kind of government interference in the market could actually hurt Canada’s tech sector overall given the uncertainty it would raise in the international business community,” said Mr. Beech.
Shares of RIM are up 4 percent on the TSX upon speculation on a Lenovo takeover.