China-based Lenovo is either the world's savviest business negotiator or in for a crude surprise as it purchases the dilapidated remnants of Motorola Mobility from Google for about USD2.91 billion.
Google had purchased much of the same assets from Motorola only three years ago for USD12.5 billion, so Lenovo's purchase comes at an incredible discount. Either Google crushed the value on its own since its purchase, it overpaid originally for the unit, or Lenovo is a savvy negotiator.
Lenovo plans to acquire the Motorola Mobility smartphone business for a price that includes USD1.41 billion paid at close, comprised of USD660 million in cash and USD750 million in Lenovo ordinary shares. The remaining USD1.5 billion will be paid in the form of a three-year promissory note.
Lenovo will now own the "Motorola" brand and Motorola Mobility's portfolio of 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.
But, importantly, Google will maintain ownership of the 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 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 the satisfaction of regulatory requirements, customary closing conditions and any other needed approvals.