The Globe and Mail this week reported that a proposed buyout of struggling Canadian tech firm BlackBerry was rejected by the Canadian government. The offer was from Lenovo, a Chinese tech manufacturer that recently topped HP in notebook shipments during the second quarter of this year.
The Mail report cites unnamed “sources familiar with the situation” as saying the offer was rejected specifically over national security concerns posed by Lenovo. With BlackBerry providing much of the enterprise security software backing up several large government institutions in North America, the prospect of a Chinese company owning the business was a no-go for Canada.
The news comes just as BlackBerry yesterday revealed that its proposed $4.7 billion buyout by an investor group led by Fairfax Financial has failed to materialize. Instead, Fairfax and other investors will pump $1 billion into BlackBerry in the form of a debenture.
The company’s current CEO, Thorsten Heins, has also been ousted from the company along with board member David Kerr. Heins will be replaced in the coming weeks with John Chen, the former CEO of Sybase, as interim CEO of BlackBerry.
The Fairfax consortium had over one month to raise the cash for a BlackBerry buyout. In the meantime, BlackBerry had been open to other offers for it or its various divisions. No further deals materialized during that time, and the Mail report states that Lenovo’s rumored offer was turned down by BlackBerry before the Canadian government had a chance to reject it.