Google sells Motorola set-top box division for $2.53bn

21/12/2012

Google is planning to sell Motorola Home, the TV set-top box business of its Motorola Mobility subsidiary to Arris Group, a broadband device vendor, for $2.35 billion. Arris will buy up the patents belonging to the business, and will get a perpetual license to other Motorola Mobility patents as part of the deal.

The companies announced their agreement late on Wednesday and expect the sale to close by the second quarter of next year.

Google was given the green light to buy Motorola Mobility back in May. It bought the business primarily for its mobile assets and proceeded to seek a buyer for its Motorola Home division, which primarily makes set-top boxes for bringing video and other broadband services to TVs.
Motorola Home had revenue of $3.4 billion in the year ending Sept. 30.

"Every operator that we've talked to tells me that in-home devices are not going to go away," Arris Chairman and CEO Bob Stanzione said on a conference call to discuss the deal. He sees a new generation of the boxes that will carry both traditional and IP (Internet Protocol) video services going into homes soon.

Arris has no plans for joint development with the remaining parts of Motorola Mobility that are now under Google, but it will have a license to much of that company's mobile patents, Stanzione said.

Those, in addition to Motorola Home's long experience working with the mobile part of the company, could help it make mobile devices interact more closely with set-top boxes, Stanzione said.

As part of the deal, Google will receive about $300 million of newly issued shares in Arris, giving it about 15.7 percent ownership in the company.

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