Motorola sold to Lenovo for $2.91 billion
In a surprising turn of events, Google has just sold Motorola Mobility to Lenovo for $2.91 billion, less than 36 months after originally purchasing the company. The sale involves $1.41 billion paid at close in a mixture of cash and stocks, while the remaining $1.5 billion will be paid off across three years.
Google originally purchased Motorola back in August of 2011, paying $12.5 billion for the company at the time. While the sale is substantially less than what Google initially paid, they do retain ownership of the majority of the company's patents and invention disclosures. As part of the deal, Lenovo receives ownership of the company and rights to the trademark and existing devices, to go along with over 2,000 patents from Motorola's portfolio.
Questions have always existed about Motorola's value to Google, especially with the Moto X being the only device of note to have resulted from the purchase. As a result of this deal, Lenovo gains a significant foothold into the US market and CEO Yang Yuanqing acknowledged as much in the company's press release by saying:
"The acquisition of such an iconic brand, innovative product portfolio and incredibly talented global team will immediately make Lenovo a strong global competitor in smartphones. We will immediately have the opportunity to become a strong global player in the fast-growing mobile space."
The deal is still subject to the customary regulatory approvals as always, but it will be interesting to see how this impacts the smartphone landscape in the near future.