HELSINKI - The long-planned breakup of Motorola Inc., one of the founders of the U.S. electronics industry, came a step closer Monday with a $1.2-billion deal to sell most of its wireless networks division.
The deal to sell the division to Nokia Siemens Networks, a Finnish-German joint venture, sets Motorola up to separate its cell-phone manufacturing operations from the police-radio business early next year, essentially dividing the 82-year-old company into three parts. A Motorola spokeswoman said the company site in Holtsville - a former Symbol Technologies operation - will not be affected.
The division being sold supplies wireless carriers such as Verizon Wireless and Sprint Nextel Corp. with the equipment they need to connect to cell phones.
Motorola co-chief executive Greg Brown said the deal frees the police-radio and bar-code scanner division, which is the leader in its field, from being associated with the networks division, which supplies mainly older-generation equipment and has seen declining sales.
That division, which covers most of the business being sold to Schaumburg, Ill.-based Nokia Siemens, had revenue of $896 million in the first quarter. Operating earnings were $112 million.
Rajeeve Suri, chief executive of Nokia Siemens Networks, said no layoffs were planned. Motorola said about 7,500 employees will be transferred to Nokia Siemens.
From staff and wire reports