Motorola is looking to sell its set-top box business.


Motorola is looking to sell its set-top box business. It isn’t the first time Motorola has looked to exit a business that’s increasingly dominated by low-cost Asian imports. Now it wants $4.5bn for the business, which seems like a lot of cash.

Like any good TV or mobile phone business, Motorola is “bundling” into the sale its network equipment business, but this may only make a sale to a single buyer even more challenging. As US analysts suggest, there may be plenty of tyre-kickers looking over the business, but few who might be prepared to cough up that sort of sum.

However, on the more positive side, Motorola’s client base is impressive and there’s a strong order book along with strong legacy installations, which would favour Motorola down the line. Motorola has 27% of the world’s cable set-top box market and a matching share of the IPTV-box market, according to InStat.

Contenders could include Huawei Technologies, said to be keen for a stronger US presence, while Ericsson, Nokia-Siemens and Alcatel-Lucent are the ‘usual suspects’ in the list. But diversified technology players like Sony, Toshiba and Samsung could also be conducting due diligence.

JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs are advising Motorola.