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Official: Motorola is Joining Lenovo to “Create a Truly Global Smartphone Company”

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Well, folks, it is now official. Lenovo is acquiring Motorola from Google for $2.91 billion.

We are still thumbing through all of the statements now and will update this post shortly. In the mean time, feel free to read along with us.

Update:  We did a breakdown with bullet points and some thoughts here

Here is Larry Page’s statement:

We’ve just signed an agreement to sell Motorola to Lenovo for $2.91 billion. As this is an important move for Android users everywhere, I wanted to explain why in detail.

We acquired Motorola in 2012 to help supercharge the Android ecosystem by creating a stronger patent portfolio for Google and great smartphones for users. Over the past 19 months, Dennis Woodside and the Motorola team have done a tremendous job reinventing the company. They’ve focused on building a smaller number of great (and great value) smartphones that consumers love. Both the Moto G and the Moto X are doing really well, and I’m very excited about the smartphone lineup for 2014. And on the intellectual property side, Motorola’s patents have helped create a level playing field, which is good news for all Android’s users and partners.

But the smartphone market is super competitive, and to thrive it helps to be all-in when it comes to making mobile devices. It’s why we believe that Motorola will be better served by Lenovo—which has a rapidly growing smartphone business and is the largest (and fastest-growing) PC manufacturer in the world. This move will enable Google to devote our energy to driving innovation across the Android ecosystem, for the benefit of smartphone users everywhere. As a side note, this does not signal a larger shift for our other hardware efforts. The dynamics and maturity of the wearable and home markets, for example, are very different from that of the mobile industry. We’re excited by the opportunities to build amazing new products for users within these emerging ecosystems.

Lenovo has the expertise and track record to scale Motorola into a major player within the Android ecosystem. They have a lot of experience in hardware, and they have global reach. In addition, Lenovo intends to keep Motorola’s distinct brand identity—just as they did when they acquired ThinkPad from IBM in 2005. Google will retain the vast majority of Motorola’s patents, which we will continue to use to defend the entire Android ecosystem.

The deal has yet to be approved in the U.S. or China, and this usually takes time. So until then, it’s business as usual. I’m phenomenally impressed with everything the Motorola team has achieved and confident that with Lenovo as a partner, Motorola will build more and more great products for people everywhere.

Posted by Larry Page, CEO

Here is Dennis Woodside’s statement through Motorola:

Today Google CEO Larry Page announced that Lenovo will acquire the Motorola Mobility smartphone business for about $2.91BN.

Since being acquired by Google in 2012, Motorola has transformed itself, focusing on solving real consumer problems and providing amazing experiences built on a foundation of pure Android. The result has been Moto X, Moto G, and a reinvigorated Droid line. Together, these devices have won over consumers and critics alike and helped re-establish the Motorola brand around the world.

Now, as we set our sights bringing the mobile Internet to the next 100 million people, Lenovo is the perfect partner to help us achieve that goal. As Larry wrote in his post,

“Lenovo has the expertise and track record to scale Motorola into a major player within the Android ecosystem. They have a lot of experience in hardware and they have global reach. In addition, Lenovo intends to keep Motorola’s distinct brand identity–just as they did when they acquired ThinkPad from IBM in 2005.”

Combined, our two challenger brands will become a true force in mobility. Per Yang Yuanqing, chairman and CEO of Lenovo,

“We are confident that we can bring together the best of both companies to deliver products customers will love and a strong, growing business. Lenovo has a proven track record of successfully embracing and strengthening great brands – as we did with IBM’s Think brand – and smoothly and efficiently integrating companies around-the-world. I am confident we will be successful with this process, and that our companies will not only maintain our current momentum in the market, but also build a strong foundation for the future.”

Google will maintain ownership of the vast majority of the Motorola Mobility patent portfolio, including current patent applications and invention disclosures. As part of its ongoing relationship with Google, Lenovo will receive a license to this rich portfolio of patents and other intellectual property. Additionally Lenovo will receive over 2,000 patent assets, as well as the Motorola Mobility brand and trademark portfolio.

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals in the U.S. and China. You can find more information in the press release.

We look forward to a new chapter and bright future with a new brand steward.

The official press release:

Lenovo to Acquire Motorola Mobility from Google

Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, and Mountain View, California – January 29, 2014: Lenovo (HKSE: 992) (ADR: LNVGY) and Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) today have entered into a definitive agreement under which Lenovo plans to acquire the Motorola Mobility smartphone business. With a strong PC business and a fast-growing smartphone business, this agreement will significantly strengthen Lenovo’s position in the smartphone market. In addition, Lenovo will gain a strong market presence in North America and Latin America, as well as a foothold in Western Europe, to complement its strong, fast-growing smartphone business in emerging markets around the world.

The purchase price is approximately US$2.91 billion (subject to certain adjustments), including US$1.41 billion paid at close, comprised of US$660 million in cash and US$750 million in Lenovo ordinary shares (subject to a share cap/floor). The remaining US$1.5 billion will be paid in the form of a three-year promissory note.

Lenovo, which in 2005 acquired IBM’s PC business and its legendary PC brand, will now acquire world-renowned Motorola Mobility, including the MOTOROLA brand and Motorola Mobility’s portfolio of innovative smartphones like the Moto X and Moto G and the DROID™ Ultra series. In addition to current products, Lenovo will take ownership of the future Motorola Mobility product roadmap.

Google will maintain ownership of the vast majority of the Motorola Mobility patent portfolio, including current patent applications and invention disclosures. As part of its ongoing relationship with Google, Lenovo will receive a license to this rich portfolio of patents and other intellectual property. Additionally Lenovo will receive over 2,000 patent assets, as well as the Motorola Mobility brand and trademark portfolio.

Motorola Mobility enjoys outstanding brand awareness around the world, and is currently the #3 Android smartphone manufacturer in the U.S. and #3 manufacturer overall in Latin America.

“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,” said Yang Yuanqing, chairman and CEO of Lenovo. “We are confident that we can bring together the best of both companies to deliver products customers will love and a strong, growing business. Lenovo has a proven track record of successfully embracing and strengthening great brands – as we did with IBM’s Think brand – and smoothly and efficiently integrating companies around-the-world. I am confident we will be successful with this process, and that our companies will not only maintain our current momentum in the market, but also build a strong foundation for the future.”

“Lenovo has the expertise and track record to scale Motorola Mobility into a major player within the Android ecosystem. This move will enable Google to devote our energy to driving innovation across the Android ecosystem, for the benefit of smartphone users everywhere,” said Larry Page, CEO, Google.

“As part of Lenovo, Motorola Mobility will have a rapid path to achieving our goal of reaching the next 100 million people with the mobile Internet. With the recent launches of Moto X and Moto G, we have tremendous momentum right now and Lenovo’s hardware expertise and global reach will only help to accelerate this,” said Dennis Woodside, CEO, Motorola Mobility.

The transaction is subject to the satisfaction of regulatory requirements, customary closing conditions and any other needed approvals.

  • BOB Dudek

    For CS I thought I made bad investments…AND IBM once upon a time, used to have the best LapTops..Motorola joins the ChiCon club.

  • http://twitter.com/jdrch jdrch

    Thank God I didn’t fall for Eric Schmidt’s BS about being excited about the Motorola product pipleline and all of that. Talk about betrayal.

  • Hotpie

    WHAT? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

  • esplana28

    Google just throw away Motorola after it gets what it needs.. I feel sorry for Motorola, soon to be a manufacturer of cheap china made mobile phones

  • Jerry Huster

    WORST. NEWS. EVER. We were LIED to…Google didn’t bring honor back to an AMERICAN company…they sold one of the greatest American innovators of ALL TIME to CHINA. All that fluff about bringing manufacturing jobs to Texas? Smoke and mirrors. Don’t be evil, Google. Oops, you already are.

  • SmokeNMirrors

    Damn it Google!

  • Pakmann2k

    I think we should organize a one week boycott of Google over this. Don’t buy an android device, no apps, no music, no movies. Show them that Motorola is an American company that should stay American. This really turns me off Google. And for 2.5 billion?!? Cmon. That is less than what they are spending to build their private airport and fleet of jets in CA. It really pisses me off that they would just dump it off like a used prom queen at dawn.

  • Harry balls

    Well that just sucks. Might as well sell everything to the Chinese. They’ll be running this country soon…

  • sski66

    WTF?! Moto was on a roll, now what? Lenovo, what the hell do they know about smartphones? Anyone here own a Lenovo smartphone, Jez I guess they never heard of that old saying, if it’s not broke don’t fix it.

  • Guest 1 M

    What do you think about their current smartphone line-up

    http://shopap.lenovo.com/in/en/smartphones/

    • Bloo

      Being an American and just viewing Lenovo’s offerings via their website briefly (meaning I’ve never seen one in action), I have to say I think the “K-Series” is absolutely visually stunningly gorgeous. But the rest of the line up, for me, is straight up forgettable.

      • Guest 1M

        They may rename it the X series or M series and finally put a great screen and camera on a moto phone

    • M3D1T8R

      Judging by those offerings, Lenovo doesn’t seem very interested in offering anything with larger than average sized batteries, or more than 16GB storage. Two areas I was hoping to see improvement/options with a future Moto X. And of course they’re highly skinned.

  • Akashshr

    Sad day, this was a shocker! Instead of supercharging Motorola, google seems to have stripped Moto what it could have been!
    Maybe a wrong decision! Motorola as we all know/knew it is dead beyond recognition, the White M on a red circle is a brand only history now!

  • Brady KEITH

    any lingering uncertainty i had about switching OSes/devices last year (Android/motoX to iOS/5s), have just vanished. Google just burned a lot of people…i feel for motoX owners.

  • Jeff Miller

    Well I guess we know now why there were SOOOOoo many “fire” sales. Take the money and run comes to mind.

  • https://twitter.com/KryptosXLayer2 KryptosXLayer2

    Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro – this is my next.

    Anything made by Moto – not one worthwhile device since the RAZR.

    Maybe now everyone who voted the MotoX as the “best phone of 2013″ will wake up from their dream that just because Google owns them, it doesn’t make a midrange phone “the best”

  • Nathaniel Newman

    There goes the Motorola brand and the emphasis on the “Made In The USA”.

    • Ian

      *Assembled in the USA.

      • Chris

        once you assemble it its made.

  • Daeshaun Griffiths

    I am hurt.

  • Al-Burrit0

    There goes “Motorola a Google Company”

  • Dave

    I’m kind of surprised Apple didnt just offer $10B and lock the doors and burn the place. Could have been there most effective competitive move in years.

    • Pedro

      Huh?
      How would Apple buying Moto help them at all?

      • George264

        What he meant was for Apple to buy the whole company and just it down as a whole. Never could or would have happened. Apple isn’t THAT evil. Google is though, for hurting all of us right in the heart. ;( *tears*

  • Andy Stetson

    I won’t ever buy a Lenovo device, which i guess means that I won’t ever buy Motorola again either.

    • Ian

      :(

  • 313photography

    It seems Google its changing there politic of cellphones, so now they sold motorola , and rumors sayed that Google will stop nexus5 and 7, and it will go and install their pur android on samsung, HTC and Sony , I think its a good idea , but selling motorola is so sad so their politique is to publish more their stock pur android on other companies such as samsung, HTC or sony

  • crazed_z06

    lulz.. it’s as if thousands of fanboys suddenly cried out in terror, and were suddenly silenced

    • dizel123

      I wish I could upvote you 66 times