Google Inc. (GOOG) has received the most compelling bids for its Motorola Home Business from Arris Group Inc. (ARRS) and Pace plc (PIC.L), Bloomberg reported Sunday, citing a person familiar with the situation. The business sells set-top boxes and equipment to cable television providers.
Arris is a Georgia-based maker of cable equipment, while UK-based Pace is a builder of set-top boxes. According to the Bloomberg report, Google received multiple offers for the unit on December 7.
However, a deal could reportedly be announced by year-end or postponed due to a complicated financing structure in which Google might retain some equity and the unit's patents. A sale of the set-top unit may also be complicated by Motorola's patent-infringement litigation with TiVo Inc. (TIVO).
Google, the provider of mobile Android software, completed the $12.5 billion acquisition of Motorola Mobility, a maker of Android-based smartphones, on May 23. The move saw Google adding a trove of more than 17,000 patents, and strengthening its foray into the hardware market in order to step up its competition with rival Apple, Inc. (AAPL).
In early October, Google said it expects to broaden its restructuring actions at Motorola Mobility. The restructuring has been extended to include additional geographic regions outside of the U.S.
Google launched the restructuring of Motorola Mobility in August, when it announced plans to cut about 4,000 jobs and close certain facilities at Motorola in an effort to return the loss making mobile devices unit to profitability.
Though Motorola Mobility lost money in fourteen of the last sixteen quarters, it expects to return to profitability with the restructuring.
As part of the restructuring, Google hired Barclays Plc (BCS, BARC.L) in late August to seek potential buyers for the Home Business unit. Motorola had tried unsuccessfully to sell the unit in 2009 for around $4 billion.
GOOG closed Friday's trading at $684.21, down $6.92 or 1.00 percent on a volume of 1.92 million shares.
by RTT Staff Writer
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