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Blackberry Buyout: Could Lenovo Be Interested?

Alex Rosenberg, CNBC Producer
Monday, 11 Mar 2013 | 5:08 PM ET
Thorsten Heins and the Z10
Getty Images
Thorsten Heins and the Z10

BlackBerry shares spiked 10 percent after AT&T said it will carry the new z10 smartphone in the U.S. And the move has rekindled speculation that the world's most hated smartphone maker could be the target of a takeover.

"If you're going to do an acquisition, now is the time," said Jefferies analyst Peter Misek. "A BlackBerry buyout made no sense before because of all the delays with their new product." But Misek noted that after BlackBerry's successful launch of the new z10, a deal "makes much more sense."

So who might be the buyers?


While the press has long focused on Microsoft, market participants are focusing on another familiar name today: Lenovo.

The Lenovo Group's ADR, which trades domestically on the pink sheets under the ticket LNVGY, opened the day lower by 3 percent, possibly because some investors fear it might go after Blackberry.

(Read More: The BlackBerry, Rebuilt, Lives to Fight Another Day)

Short-term reaction aside, would it make sense for Lenovo to do the deal? "Lenovo wants a broader footprint in North America," said Dan Nathan of RiskReversal.com. And given BlackBerry's sum-of-parts valuation, "If you're Lenovo, acquiring this company is not a difficult punt to take."

While Blackberry declined to comment, Lenovo spokesman Brion Tingler had this to say: "In general we're focused on finding right fits for various acquisitions, and we're always on the lookout for relevant opportunities."

(Read More: Lenovo Is the Cheapest Name in Tech)

Some analysts, however, doubt the prospect of any deal, noting the many problems afflicting Blackberry right now. "I don't see the company as a takeover target at this time," Colin Gillis of BGC Partners said. "There's simply too much volatility in the business right now."

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