Lenovo in talks with smartphone party for joint venture

The company wouldn't name names about its conversation partner, though rumor has it BlackBerry has spoken with Lenovo in the past.


Lenovo told its shareholders in a statement Tuesday that it's in talks with a smartphone maker to engage in a possible joint venture.

"The Board would like to inform the shareholders of the Company and potential investors that the Company is in preliminary negotiations with a party in connection with a potential joint venture transaction," Lenovo wrote (PDF). "As at the date of this announcement, no material terms concerning the Potential Transaction have been agreed and the Company has not entered into any definitive agreement in relation to the Potential Transaction."

The business-speak aside, Lenovo confirmed that the other company is "a party on smartphone business." Whether that means it's a smartphone maker or some other firm is unclear.

Rumors have been swirling for months that Lenovo has had designs on increasing its presence in the smartphone market. And it seems that nearly every time those rumors crop up, they're followed by a report claiming to come from a "source" that suggests Lenovo was considering making a bid for BlackBerry.

In January, when such a report surfaced, Lenovo CFO Wong Wai Ming wouldn't confirm that his company was in talks with BlackBerry, but he did acknowledge that Lenovo was "looking at all opportunities," adding that executives would have no problem making a deal "if the right opportunity comes along that could benefit us and shareholders." That was followed in March by a comment made by Lenovo CEO Yang Yuanqing, who said that Lenovo was open to acquiring BlackBerry.

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