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Icahn boosts stake in Motorola

Looking ahead to Motorola splitting itself into two pieces next year, billionaire investor Carl Icahn raises his stake in the company to more than 10 percent.

Investor Carl Icahn once again ups his stake in Motorola.
Investor Carl Icahn once again ups his stake in Motorola.

Carl Icahn has bumped up his share of Motorola to around 10.4 percent, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The SEC filing shows that the billionaire investor spent a total of $86.2 million to scoop up 11.5 million additional shares of Motorola on Wednesday and Thursday. This latest purchase comes on top of other recent moves by Icahn to grab more stock in the company. In May, Icahn upped his ownership of Motorola to 8.8 percent, and then in early August, raised it still further to 9.99 percent.

The increased buying by Icahn comes amid plans by Motorola to split into two separate entities early next year, one to focus on mobile devices and home entertainment products, and the other to handle enterprise mobile solutions and network businesses. Analysts have speculated that Icahn, who now owns 247.1 million shares, has been buying up the stock in expectation of it being worth a lot more following the split.

The relationship between Motorola and the outspoken investor has been difficult at times. In 2007, Icahn openly criticized the company for not doing enough to boost its financials and revive its stock price. While the company did go through a couple of rough years, its fortunes have turned around as of late. Motorola recently reported second-quarter earnings that surpassed expectations, partly because of demand for its Droid X smartphone.