In the past few weeks there were rumors circulating on the possible companies that would bid for ownership of Blackberry. Among the strongest contenders were SAP, Cisco, Google, and Lenovo. It is Lenovo that might have the advantage as the company was reportedly able to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement with BlackBerry to look at their books.
Lenovo’s bid for BlackBerry will not progress any further as the Canadian government told BlackBerry that it would not accept a Chinese takeover due to security concerns. A government official said that “We have been pretty consistent that the message is Canada is open to foreign investment and investment from China in particular but not at the cost of compromising national security.”
Sources who knew about the deal said that Lenovo was very willing to buy BlackBerry however the Canadian smartphone maker could not afford to be tied down for month to a security review that could have a negative impact on the transaction.
One of BlackBerry’s concerns was to quickly come up with a buyer. Any delay in this could have a huge impact on the business as it could then become difficult to come up with a plan to improve its market share.
An anonymous Canadian government official was quoted as saying “This is a company that has built its reputation and built its success on system security and its infrastructure. That’s one of the reasons businesses use BlackBerries. … The security is robust and we’d obviously have an interest in making sure we didn’t do anything or allow anything that would compromise.”
Last year the Canadian government created barriers to investments on state owned companies. While it fenced off its oil sands from control of foreign governments government officials explained that the move was aimed at China. The government also previously sent signals to Huawei that it would block its bid to build the Canadian government’s latest telecommunications and e-mail network.
BlackBerry has announced yesterday that it was not for sale anymore. The company already secured $1 billion funding from investors which it will be using to make changes.