BlackBerry’s stock rose today after Lenovo CEO Yang Yuanqing made comments to French newspaper Les Echos indicating that his company might consider buying the struggling handset maker. When the interviewer asked Yang specifically whether his company would be interested in acquiring BlackBerry, he replied by saying that the merger ”could possibly make sense, but first I need to analyze the market and understand what exactly the importance of this company is.”
Despite the vagueness of Yang’s answer and the leading nature of the interviewer’s question, BlackBerry’s stock jumped from an opening price of 13.13 to as high as 14.92 in today’s trading, a gain of 14 percent. Perhaps investors were thinking back to January when Lenovo CFO Wong Wai Ming told Bllomberg that the company was “looking at all opportunities — RIM and many others.”
BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins hasn’t confirmed or denied that his company could be up for sale. However, some believe that the company, which recently launched its new BlackBerry 10 OS and changed its corporate name from RIM to BlackBerry, can no longer survive on its own.
After losing significant market share to Android and iOS over the past few years, the company may need more resources. On paper, Lenovo would be a good corporate parent for BlackBerry, because it has been very successful in selling PCs to business but lacks any kind of mobile lineup outside of China. Trying to sell corporations on ThinkPads and BlackBerry handsets together could make some sense. However, Lenovo has to decide whether it believes BlackBerry 10 can gain momentum in a market where most companies are implementing BYOD (bring your own device) policies and most users have iPhones or Android handsets.