Lenovo Wanted to Acquire BlackBerry but Canadian Government Would Not Allow It

Turns out that there was more legitimate interest in BlackBerry than speculated.

Lenovo actively pursued BlackBerry but the Canadian government told the Beijing-based computer manufacturer it would not allow a Chinese takeover, citing national security concerns, according to sources from The Globe and Mail.

Quoth The Globe:

Ottawa made it clear in high-level discussions with BlackBerry that it would not approve a Chinese company buying a company deeply tied into Canada’s telecom infrastructure, sources said. The government made its position known over the last one to two months. Because Ottawa made it clear such a transaction would not fly, it never formally received a proposal from BlackBerry that envisioned Lenovo acquiring a stake, sources said.

Yesterday BlackBerry abandoned its sales process, instead raising a $1 billion financing round from Fairfax Financial and shaking up its executive suite and board of directors.

“Today’s announcement represents a significant vote of confidence in BlackBerry and its future by this group of preeminent, long-term investors,” Barbara Stymiest, Chair of BlackBerry’s Board, said yesterday. “The BlackBerry Board conducted a thorough review of strategic alternatives and pursued the course of action that it concluded is in the best interests of BlackBerry and its constituents, including its shareholders. This financing provides an immediate cash injection on terms favorable to BlackBerry, enhancing our substantial cash position.”

“Fairfax is a long-time supporter, investor and partner to BlackBerry and, with this investment, reinforces its deep commitment to the future success of this company,” said Watsa. “I look forward to rejoining the BlackBerry Board and to working with the other directors and management team … to shape the next stage of BlackBerry’s strategy and growth.”