UPDATE 4-China's Lenovo sees RIM as M&A option, CFO says

Fri Jan 25, 2013 2:03am EST
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* Lenovo says has talked to RIM about strategic ventures

* Analysts skeptical about a Lenovo bid for RIM

* Shares rise more than 2 pct on Nasdaq, TSX (Adds background on U.S. cybersecurity concerns, Lenovo shares)

By Euan Rocha

TORONTO, Jan 24 (Reuters) - A senior Lenovo executive said on Thursday that the Chinese computer maker may consider Research in Motion as a takeover target, sending the Blackberry maker's shares up 2 percent just a week before it launches a make-or-break line of redesigned smartphones.

But Levovo, which vaulted into the personal computer market with its 2005 purchase of IBM's PC division, would face formidable hurdles if it tried to buy a company that Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper once described as a national "crown jewel." The Chinese company would also encounter tough regulatory scrutiny in Washington, cybersecurity experts say.

Lenovo, on track to become the world's largest PC maker, has held talks with RIM and its bankers about various combinations or strategic ventures, its chief financial officer, Wong Wai Ming, said on Thursday.

"We are looking at all opportunities - RIM and many others," Wong told Bloomberg in an interview at the World Economic Forum's annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland. "We'll have no hesitation if the right opportunity comes along."

A spokesman for Lenovo said Wong was asked about RIM by the Bloomberg journalist and that Wong was speaking broadly about Lenovo's M&A strategy.   Continued...