Making Sense Of The BlackBerry Takeover Talk

| About: BlackBerry Ltd. (BB)
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First of all let me be clear that I do not think BlackBerry (BBRY) needs to be taken over. Even if the company's results coming out soon prove to be worse that what the street is expecting, the current valuation of the stock is already reflecting this. And in my opinion, the current valuation of BlackBerry is at scrap levels.

The recent talk of the town has been that it might be a good idea for Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) to buy the company. Indeed, in an article I wrote a while back, I also mentioned Microsoft as a possible suitor. However that was before Microsoft bought Nokia (NYSE:NOK). And while I still think BlackBerry makes sense for Microsoft, I don't think I would speculate much on Microsoft doing anything with BlackBerry at this time.

But besides that, we have no indications that Microsoft is interested. It's only speculation talk. And while speculation is fine in my book, when you have no clues to base that speculation on, it's probably not prudent putting money on the table.

Interesting however is that no one has really mentioned IBM as a possible suitor. I actually think BlackBerry would be a perfect match for IBM, because IBM has no devices strategy whatsoever. For a mere $10 billion IBM can get into the devices business from day one. In addition, both IBM and Microsoft have no MDM presence or strategy. And since everyone thinks that MDM is where all the money is, I do not understand why IBM has not voiced an interest in BlackBerry so far.

In fact, there is no indication that anyone is really interested in BlackBerry at all. All the talk I have heard so far is pure speculation, not based on a shred of evidence whatsoever. Heck, If we are to believe what we hear, even Canadian pension funds are not interested, which is really strange. Because if a pension fund is not interested in BlackBerry at scrap valuation levels, what do they buy I wonder? Oh yea, they bought a bunch of Greek debt a while ago and lost their shorts.

As far as I'm concerned, we only only have one clue to go on that might reveal a buyer for Blackberry.

As reported by Bloomberg and others, BlackBerry is preparing to lobby the Canadian government over the Investment Canada Act, which sets rules for foreign acquisitions of local companies. The government automatically reviews any takeover bid of more than C$344 million ($332 million).

So if BlackBerry wants to lift any restrictions that might prevent a foreign company from buying them, it automatically means that there might be (probably is) an interested foreign buyer.

Obviously the one company that comes to mind is none other than Lenovo, because we know both companies have had discussions in the past about a possible licensing deal. In fact I would dare to add LG and Samsung as interested parties.

At least if I were Samsung -- which as Ι have written wants to switch over to the Tizen OS (please consider: Samsung Wants Tizen To Be On Everything) -- buying BlackBerry while keeping Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android OS at the same time, might prove a much smoother transition towards an independent OS than switching over to Tizen cold turkey.

So based on this information alone, my guess is that there probably is an interested buyer and I would wager of Asian origin.

Other than that, I really don't understand what all the takeover talk is about with no shred of evidence from anyone that anyone is really interested. As far as I'm concerned, I don't see anyone interested, except perhaps an Asian company based on the Canadian lobbying efforts of the company.

And to be honest, I really hope no one comes forward to buy BlackBerry, because long-term I think shareholders will benefit a whole lot more than giving in at $15 a share at the current time.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.