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Icahn & Team Win Big

Mon, 08/15/2011 - 12:31pm
Monica Alleven

Once again, Motorola Mobility’s top shareholder, activist investor Carl Icahn, succeeded in getting what he wanted. Just about eight months after Motorola Mobility Holdings officially became an independent company, it’s selling itself and all its valuable patents to Google.

Icahn’s stake in Motorola Mobility today is valued at more than $1 billion, up from Friday’s value of $655.8 million.

“This is a great outcome for ALL shareholders of Motorola Mobility, especially in light of today's markets,” Icahn said in a statement released today. “In the past three years we have fought long and hard to separate Motorola Mobility from Motorola Solutions, as well as bring Sanjay Jha as co-CEO.”

Icahn’s statement went on to note that he and his associates have been strong proponents of the company exploring multiple ways to enhance the value of its patent portfolio. In a 13D filing last month, Icahn suggested the company explore alternatives regarding said portfolio. At that time, Motorola Mobility said its board and management team “continuously reviews” the company’s strategic direction and opportunities it believes are in the best interests of the company and all its stockholders.

Google’s $12.5 billion acquisition of Motorola Mobility has been approved by both companies’ boards. Regulators still need to give their OK.

During the company’s second-quarter conference call last month, Jha addressed the topic of Motorola’s intellectual property, noting its over 17,000 patents granted and 7,000 pending, and he characterized the LTE portion of those as probably the least understood and most underestimated in terms of its strength.

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