The talk of a possible Lenovo acquistion of smartphone manufacturer BlackBerry (Nasdaq: BBRY) sent BlackBerry shares up 14 percent Monday.

For the second time since January, a top Lenovo executive has hinted that the world’s No. 2 PC manufacturer and a growing player in smartphone industry might be interested in acquiring BlackBerry.

BlackBerry shares jumped the most in more than a month after Lenovo’s chairman and chief executive officer was quoted in a French financial newspaper as saying his company may eventually consider buying the smartphone maker.

BlackBerry is set to launch its new Z10 phone on March 22 through AT&T (NYSE: T).

Yang Yuanqing told the Les Echos paper that a deal with Waterloo, Ontario-based BlackBerry “could possibly make sense, but first I need to analyze the market and understand what exactly the importance of this company is.”

The remarks echoed comments made in January by Lenovo Chief Financial Officer Wong Wai Ming, who said the company was “looking at all opportunities,” including BlackBerry.

The Canadian smartphone maker began a review of its strategic options last year after losing market share to smartphones such as Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL)’s iPhone and Samsung Electronics Co.’s Galaxy, raising speculation that it could be a takeover target.

Shares of BlackBerry, formerly known as Research In Motion Ltd., rose 14 percent to $14.90 at the close in New York, the biggest gain since Feb. 4. The stock has climbed 26 percent this year.

Any foreign bid for BlackBerry would need regulatory approval. The Canadian government automatically reviews all foreign takeovers of companies with asset values of more than C$344 million ($335 million) to determine whether the transactions are of “net benefit” to the country.

Not Talking

When asked in January about Wong’s comments, BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins said he didn’t know why the Lenovo executive had made those remarks.

“As always with these topics, we will talk about things when they are ready to be talked about and ready to be announced,” Heins said in an interview at the time. “There are other constituents in the process that need to be involved — if there would be anything.”

BlackBerry reports quarterly results on March 28, when Heins is expected to update investors on any developments in the strategic review. In the past, he hasn’t ruled out an acquisition of BlackBerry, while stressing that he’s more focused on striking a licensing deal or forging some other partnership.

He said in January that he’s potentially open to licensing the new BlackBerry 10 software — including to other handset makers, known as original equipment manufacturers, or OEMs.

“If OEMs come around and the business case makes sense as a whole, we would certainly consider it,” he said. “We’d not be prudent not to consider it.”

Previous Comments

Lenovo’s Wong made his headlines in an interview with Bloomberg news during the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland.

“We are looking at all opportunities – RIM and many others,” Wong  said early Thursday. “We’ll have no hesitation if the right opportunity comes along that could benefit us and shareholders.”

If Lenovo were to buy RIM, the deal would unite two firms with a major presence in the Triangle.

Lenovo operates its executive headquarters in Morrisville. RIM has a research and development operation in the region.

Lenovo, which bought IBM’s PC unit in 2005, is considering acquisitions and adding new products as competition from tablets hampers profit growth.

(Bloomberg contributed to this report.)

[LENOVO ARCHIVE: Check out eight years of Lenovo stories as reported in WRAL Tech Wire.]