UPDATE 1-RIM shares rise on report of Lenovo interest
(Adds details, RIM spokesman quotes, updates share price)
TORONTO, Jan 24 (Reuters) - Shares of Research In Motion Ltd rose 4 percent on Thursday after a report quoting China's Lenovo Group as saying a bid for the BlackBerry maker was among the options for boosting its mobile business.
"We are looking at all opportunities -- RIM and many others," Lenovo Chief Financial Officer Wong Wai Ming told Bloomberg 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."
Wong said Lenovo has spoken to RIM and its bankers about various combinations or strategic ventures, the Bloomberg report said.
Earlier this week, RIM shares surged to a 13-month high after its chief executive, Thorsten Heins, said RIM might consider strategic alliances with other companies, including a possible sale of its handset business, following next week's launch of devices powered by RIM's new BlackBerry 10 operating system.
Any bid for RIM, which Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper once described as a national "crown jewel," would face a rigorous review by the government to determine if the deal would bring a "net benefit" to the country.
ALL OPTIONS EXAMINED
RIM announced a far-reaching strategic review last May under which it was expected to examine all options, from software licensing deals to an outright sale of the company.
After the comments from Lenovo, a RIM spokesman said the company had nothing new to report on its strategic review at this time.
"We continue to examine all available options to create new opportunities, focusing on areas where we will be more effective partnering rather than going it alone, and ultimately maximizing value for all stakeholders," said RIM spokesman Nick Manning.
The company, once a pioneer in the smartphone industry, has struggled in recent years as its aging line-up of devices lost market share to Apple Inc's iPhone and devices based on Google Inc's Android operating system.
RIM hopes its new touch-screen and keyboard devices, powered by its new BlackBerry 10 operating system, will help it claw back market share.
Shares of RIM, which opened lower on Thursday, were up 4 percent at $18.07 in morning trading on the Nasdaq, while its Toronto-listed shares were up 3.8 percent at C$18.10.
(Reporting by Euan Rocha; Editing by Frank McGurty)