Moto looking to sell home & networks division: reports

Robert Clark
12 Nov 2009
00:00

Motorola is reportedly searching for buyers for its home and networks division, and is hoping to reap $4.5 billion from the sale.

The company is approaching private equity firms and rival vendors as potential buyers, unnamed sources told the Wall Street Journal.

Reutersreported that Motorola was in the early stages of seeking buyers for the unit, its largest by revenue. It has appointed J.P. Morgan Chase and Goldman Sachs as advisers, Reuters said.

The division, which produces mobile network equipment and cable TV set top boxes, notched up sales of $10.1 billion last year, but turnover fell 15% year-on-year in Q3.

Potential buyers could include Ericsson, Samsung, Alcatel Lucent or Nokia Siemens. The Journal said Huawei Technologies or UK-based Pace could also be attracted to the acquisition.

Analysts said Motorola’s strong market share in the set-top box business, where it is bigger than Scientific Atlanta, could generate wide interest from networking vendors and IT firms. Scientific Atlanta is now owned by Cisco as the IP networking pushes into the emerging home networking and entertainment segment.

Avian Securities analyst Matthew Thornton told Reuters a $4.5 billion price tag would represent an 18% premium over his estimated valuation of $3.8 billion.

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