Blackberry Expected to Lobby the Canadian Government for Changes to the Investment Canada Act

Contact: Henry J. Chang; Blaney McMurtry LLP (Ontario, Canada)

On August 12, 2013, BlackBerry Limited (“Blackberry”), formerly known as Research in Motion Limited, announced that the company’s Board of Directors had formed a Special Committee to explore its potential sale. In the beginning of September 2013, the media reported that Blackberry had registered to meet with the Government of Canada in order to discuss the Investment Canada Act1 (the “ICA”).

The ICA establishes a process for the review of certain foreign investments that will result in the acquisition of controlling interest in a Canadian business. Proposed acquisitions that exceed the applicable minimum investment threshold are subject to review by Industry Canada, which can discourage foreign investors.

The fact that Blackberry is attempting to lobby for changes to the ICA strongly suggests that it does not expect to sell its business operations to a domestic investor and is now trying to encourage potential acquisitions by foreign investors. Potential foreign suitors include China-based Lenovo Group Limited (“Lenovo”) and U.S.-based Microsoft Corporation.

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