After months of delays, Motorola Solutions (NYSE:MSI) hopes to close the $1.2 billion sale of its wireless networking business to Nokia Siemens Networks by the end of the second quarter, Motorola CEO Greg Brown said. Brown also said the company is targeting $1 billion worth of public-safety networking deals.
In a series of interviews, Brown talked about the NSN deal, Motorola's legal entanglements with Huawei and the future prospects for the company, which spun off Motorola Mobility (NYSE:MMI) in January.
Brown told Bloomberg he hopes to close the NSN transaction by the end of June. "We are trying to close the deal and we are hopeful we can get that done," he said. "We will see ultimately what happens and what is required." Nokia Siemens and Motorola said last month that the closing of the deal, which was first announced in July, had been postponed again, pending review by Chinese regulators. Motorola said the review period had been extended for another 60 days.
"I do not know why they are taking more time, I have not been personally involved in the discussions with MofCom about this other than one basic conversation several months ago, so I can't speak to the details or what they are thinking," Brown told the Financial Times, referring to China's Ministry of Commerce.
The Motorola chief said that if Chinese regulators do not approve the deal, it will collapse. "It's binary," he told Dow Jones Newswires. "We're hoping they don't do that." The deal has been approved by antitrust authorities in the U.S. and Europe.
Bloomberg reported last month that Nokia Siemens wants to drop Motorola's GSM business from the deal to win the approval of the Chinese authorities; Brown declined to comment on that report.
Brown also addressed Motorola's ongoing lawsuit with Huawei, in which Huawei has asserted that the Motorola-NSN deal will expose Huawei's trade secrets. Motorola has sold Huawei's network products under its brand since 2000, and Brown said the sale would not leave Huawei's intellectual property vulnerable.
In addition to dealing with those pressing issues, Brown also is trying to expand Motorola's business. "We've identified projects that are a billion plus in the funnel that we have to work on and close in the next few years," he told Bloomberg, referring to public-safety deals in the U.S. and Middle East. Motorola won a contract to build an LTE network in the 700 MHz band for public-safety workers in Houston, according to a recent FCC filing. The company also is building a similar 700 MHz LTE network in the San Francisco metropolitan area.
- see this Bloomberg article
- see this FT article
- see this Dow Jones Newswires article (sub. req.)
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