WSJ: Motorola rethinking spin-off

In the absence of more desirable bids, the company is reportedly having second thoughts about plans to sell off its phone and networking business unit.

Motorola might not sell off its mobile phone and networking business unit after all, according to a report Thursday in The Wall Street Journal.

Motorola spin off

Unnamed sources have told the Journal that the business unit, which includes handsets and cable TV set-top boxes, hasn't elicited high enough bids from potential buyers. Motorola is looking for an offer in the range of $4 billion to $5 billion, but has so far received bids between $3 billion and $4 billion, the Journal reports.

The company is also reconsidering whether phones and set-top boxes need be kept together under the same roof, or sold off separately.

Motorola has been looking to split the company for a couple years. It first hatched the plan in early 2008 after several quarters of losses for its handset business. Even worse financial circumstances forced the company to delay the split --expected to be finalized during late 2009--even longer.

There is another round of bids for the phone and set-top unit scheduled to be delivered in mid-February, the Journal's sources say, so an attractive offer could still keep Motorola's original plan on track.

About the author

Erica Ogg is a CNET News reporter who covers Apple, HP, Dell, and other PC makers, as well as the consumer electronics industry. She's also one of the hosts of CNET News' Daily Podcast. In her non-work life, she's a history geek, a loyal Dodgers fan, and a mac-and-cheese connoisseur.


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