UPDATE 1-Canada may have to review future RIM handset unit sale

Tue Jan 22, 2013 10:51am EST
 
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* RIM considering sale of handset business

* Minister says wants RIM to continue as global leader

* Says not planning telco ownership rule changes

By Randall Palmer

OTTAWA, Jan 22 (Reuters) - The Canadian government might have to review any sale of BlackBerry maker Research in Motion Ltd's handset business to a foreign buyer, Industry Minister Christian Paradis told Reuters on Tuesday.

Asked if he would allow such a sale to a foreign company, Paradis said: "It's speculation and each decision on each case is based on its own merit, so it would premature for me to speculate on any of these kinds of cases.

"So if something was going to occur, then we would have to determine if it was reviewable or not, depending on the threshold (of the value of the transaction), and then we go with the net-benefit test."

He was referring to a provision in the Investment Canada Act that requires the government to determine whether certain foreign investments in Canada are of net benefit to the country.

The markets have gained renewed excitement over RIM because of its new BlackBerry 10 operating system and because Chief Executive Thorsten Heins said its strategic review could potentially lead to the sale of its handset business.   Continued...