In 1974, Motorola divested itself of its television and radio-manufacturing division, which included the popular Quasar brand of electronics. This division was acquired by Matsushita, already well-known under its Panasonic brand in North America, where it was looking to expand.Iridium Main article: Iridium (satellite)
Motorola developed the first truly global communication network using a set of 66 satellites. The business ambitions behind this project and the need for raising venture capital to fund the project led to the creation of the Iridium company in the late 1990s. While the technology was proven to work, Iridium failed to attract sufficient customers and it filed for bankruptcy in 1999. Obligations to Motorola and loss of expected revenue caused Motorola to spin off the ON Semiconductor (ONNN) business August 4, 1999, raising about $1.1 billion.
Motorola manufactured two satellite phone handsets for this network – the 9500 and 9505 as well as transceiver units. Some of these are still in production by an OEM but sold under the Iridium brand.Government and defense
Due to declines in business in 2000 and 2001, Motorola spun off its government and defense business to General Dynamics. The business deal closed September 2001. Thus GD Decision Systems was formed (and later merged with General Dynamics C4 Systems) from Motorola's Integrated Information Systems Group.Semiconductor
On August 4, 1999 Motorola, Inc.'s Semiconductor Components Group, manufacturing Motorola's discrete, standard analog and standard logic devices was spun-off, recapitalized and established as an independent company named ON Semiconductor.
On October 16, 2003, Motorola announced that it would spin off its Semiconductor Products Sector into a separate company called Freescale Semiconductor, Inc.. The new company began trading on the New York Stock Exchange on July 16 of the following year.Automotive
On January 29, 1988 Motorola sold its Arcade, New York facility and automotive alternators, electromechanical speedometers and tachometers products to Prestolite Electric.
In July 2006 Motorola completed the sale of its automotive business to Continental AG. Motorola’s automotive unit had annual sales of $1.6 billion (€1.33 billion) and employed 4,500. The divisions products included telematics systems used for vehicle navigation and safety services, engine and transmission control electronics, vehicle control, electronics and sensors used in steering, braking, and power doors and power windows.Biometrics
In 2000, Motorola acquired Printrak International Inc. for $160 million. In doing so, Motorola not only acquired computer aided dispatch and related software, but also acquired Automated fingerprint identification system software.
In October 2008, Motorola agreed to sell its Biometrics business to Safran, a French defense firm. Motorola's biometric business unit was headquartered in Anaheim, Calif. The deal closed in April 2009. The unit became part of Sagem Morpho, which was renamed MorphoTrak.Split
On March 26, 2008, Motorola's board of directors approved a split into two different publicly traded companies. This came after talk of selling the handset division to another corporation. These new companies would comprise the business units of the current Motorola Mobile Devices and Motorola Broadband & Mobility Solutions. Originally it was expected that this action would be approved by regulatory bodies and complete by mid-2009, but the split was delayed due to company restructuring problems and the 2008–2009 extreme economic downturn.
On February 11, 2010, Motorola announced its separation into two independent, publicly traded companies, effective Q1 2011. The official split occurred at around 12:00 pm EST on January 4, 2011. The two new companies are called Motorola Mobility (owned by Google; cell phone and cable television equipment company) and Motorola Solutions (NYSE: MSI; Government and Enterprise Business). Motorola Solutions is generally considered to be the direct successor to Motorola, Inc., as the reorganization was structured with Motorola Mobility being spunoff.Motorola Mobility deal by Google
In fact, according to the filing, Google senior vice president Andy Rubin first reached out to Motorola Mobility in early July 2011 to discuss the purchase by some of Google's competitors of the patent portfolio of Nortel Networks Corp., and to assess its potential impact on the Android ecosystem.
Google boosted its offer for Motorola Mobility by 33% in a single day in early August, even though Motorola wasn't soliciting competing bids. The aggressive bidding by Google showed that the search giant was under considerable pressure to beef up its patent portfolio to protect its promising Android franchise from a growing number of legal challenges.
According to the filing, Google and Motorola began discussions about Motorola's patent portfolio in early July, as well as the "intellectual property litigation and the potential impact of such litigation on the Android ecosystem."
Although the two companies discussed the possibility of an acquisition after the initial contact by Mr. Rubin, it was only after Motorola pushed back on the idea of patent sale that the acquisition talks picked up steam.
The turning point came during a meeting on July 6. At the meeting, Motorola CEO Sanjay Jha discussed the protection of the Android ecosystem with Google senior vice president Nikesh Arora, and during that talk Jha told Arora that "it could be problematic for Motorola Mobility to continue to exist as a stand-alone entity if it sold a large portion of its patent portfolio."
In connection with these discussions, the two companies signed a confidentiality and non-disclosure agreement that allowed Google to do due diligence on the company's patent portfolio.
On July 21 and 23, Jha met with Arora and Rubin to discuss strategic options between the two companies, agreeing to continue to discuss a potential sale. On the morning of August 15, the two companies entered into a merger agreement at the offered price of $40. On November 17, Motorola Mobility stockholders approved the proposed merger with Google Inc. On April 17, ARRIS Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: ARRS) announced that it completed its acquisition of the Motorola Home business from a subsidiary of Google Inc.