Google mulling over Motorola set-top box division sell-off: report

Summary:According to a report, Google is trying to get rid of its Motorola Home set-top box division, and is even willing to offer financing support to prospective buyers to ease the deal.

Credit: Motorola

Google's bid to offload the Motorola set-top box business, which it acquired during the $12.5 billion acquisition of Motorola Mobility earlier this year, is proving more difficult than the search giant first thought.

According to sources speaking to Bloomberg, Google is considering financing options to companies looking at the division in order to get swiftly rid of the ageing unit.

Bloomberg says Arris Group and Pace Plc. have shown the most interest in the Motorola Home division, and are leading their bids to buy the unit. While Pace is an already-established set-top box maker, Arris offers back-end telephony and networking equipment services to content providers.

The Wall Street Journal recently reported that the division could be worth as much as $2.5 billion. However, because Google reportedly wants rid of the division, it is willing to offer up financing options to successful bidders in efforts to ease the transition of offloading the unit. 

London, U.K.-based Barclays Plc. is acting as Google's financial adviser and is looking at a variety of options, including financing.

A Google spokesperson told ZDNet: "We're not commenting on rumors about the sale of Motorola's set-top box business."

If Google did sell off the unit for even half of the $2.5 billion that it may be worth, selling the unit at a loss would hit the search giant badly, but it would still lessen the impact from the overall Motorola Mobility acquisition.

While the initial price tag for the company stood at $12.5 billion, since then, restructuring costs have  bumped the overall price close to $13 billion . The deal was ultimately to acquire Motorola's 17,000 patents, despite the search giant's claims that it was more than just a patent sale.

Topics: Google, Google Apps

About

Zack Whittaker writes for ZDNet, CNET, and CBS News. He is based in New York City.

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