Motorola Droid May Benefit From Break-Up
That was the fitting title of Macquarie analyst Phil Cusick's research note in the wake of Motorola's (MOT) third quarter earnings report last month. With weak sales across its key businesses, suddenly it was Motorola's mobile division that looked to have the best prospects.
Now, eager to double down on its Google (GOOG) Android phone strategy, Motorola is shopping around its cable box property for quick cash.
According to reports, Motorola's TV set-top, home network business is on the block and the company has solicited offers from industry players as well as private equity shops.The asset sale would help revive a four-way breakup plan for Motorola first advanced by investor Carl Icahn last year. Analysts value the deteriorating cable equipment unit between $4 billion and $5 billion, given the slumping demand for new boxes. Motorola acquired the set-top business with the $11 billion purchase of General Instrument 10 years ago. If the strategy is successful, it could help Motorola unload some of its debt and raise some necessary cash to pay for the planned separation of its mobile phone unit. And just in case you thought that whole split-up thing was just talk to placate Icahn, Motorola offered an update last month on a third-quarter earnings call indicating the plan was very much in motion. CFO Ed Fitzgerald told analysts on the call that some of the special charges in the quarter were due to: "Our ongoing efforts to prepare for separation into two independent public companies."
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