Google announced on Wednesday that it has sold the Motorola Home business it acquired earlier this year to the Arris Group for a sum of $2.35 billion in cash and stock. Motorola Home produces set top boxes that are sold to cable providers who then lease them out to end users. Google has been shopping around the Home side of Motorola for quite some time, with Arris and Pace Plc both considered to be front-runners for the purchase. As per the terms of the agreement, Google will receive about $2.05 billion in cash and $300 million in Arris common shares, giving Google an approximate ownership of 15.7 percent in the company. In addition to obtaining ownership of Motorola Home, Arris will also gain access to license Motorola Mobility patents. Earlier estimates had pegged Google's earnings from a sale of Motorola Home to be between $1.5 billion and $2.5 billion.
Arris will likely use this acquisition of Motorola Home to expand its current services of providing back-end telephony and networking equipment to cable providers. "The industry faces its biggest technology transformation, and together ARRIS and Motorola will be able to accelerate related innovations such as the introduction of the IP Connected Home environments that service providers need and that their consumers crave," noted Dennis Woodside, current CEO of Motorola Mobility.
Interestingly enough, Motorola Home is a more profitable business than its mobile device division, but it's apparent that Google wanted no part of the home cable box business. It had been rumored that Google was having trouble offloading the company, and that it was even willing to finance part of the purchase to make it more enticing to prospective buyers. With today's announcement, it doesn't look like the company will have to do that. The deal is expected to close in the second quarter of 2013, pending regulatory agreements.
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