Harper's all-Canadian remark might hurt RIM sale
By: LuAnn LaSalle
Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION
MONTREAL -- Research In Motion might not have many suitors at home or abroad, especially with Prime Minister Stephen Harper's comments that he would like to see the BlackBerry maker remain a Canadian company, analysts said Monday.
The prime minister recently told the Reuters news agency he wants to see the "company succeed and continue to grow as a Canadian company."
"A hostile takeover is not very likely to go through based on what Harper has said," telecom analyst Troy Crandall said.
But RIM doesn't seem to have a lot of obvious suitors.
"Any of the potential acquirers for RIM right now seem to either have partnered with somebody else already or bought somebody else," said Crandall, of investment firm MacDougall, MacDougall & MacTier.
Harper's comments last week reflect a worry that too many Canadian companies are being swallowed by foreign buyers.
Jaguar Financial and more than a dozen other shareholders own about 10 per cent of RIM and have been pushing for a revamped board and a strategic review of the company, which would include a possible sale.
Jaguar chief executive Vic Alboini said he still believes RIM's new chairwoman, Barbara Stymiest, should do a strategic review of the company and consider a sale.
"I think if the federal government wants to put its toe in this water, it has to lay out what the guidelines are so there is no uncertainty in the capital market," said Alboini, head of the Toronto-based merchant bank.
"I am not sure we want a government poison pill here," Alboini said of the prime minister's comments.
"Is it something he would consider to be a problem if management of RIM entered into a friendly deal with a foreign acquirer?" he said.
"It raises a ton of uncertainty for potential acquirers, whether domestic or foreign, because people don't know where the government stands and, therefore, what you're going to do is take out the takeover bid premium out of the marketplace," Alboini said.
"Is that what the government really wants to do?"
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Posted by Brent Fullard at 10:51 PM