Moto Vs. Icahn 2: The Hunt for Patent Gold

He's baaaaaaaack! Activist shareholder, Carl Icahn -- the stuff of nightmares for many corporate executives -- is picking at one of his favorite scabs once again: He's calling for Motorola Mobility LLC to consider strategic options for its large wireless patent portfolio.

The billionaire Wall Street investor, who is Motorola's largest single shareholder, will have had a close eye on Nortel's recent US$4.5 billion sell-off of its patent portfolio to a consortium of tech companies. (See Nortel Sells Patents for $4.5B.)

Icahn says in a filing that Motorola Mobility's 4G-related intellectual property could hold "significant value." He also discloses that has held talks with the company.

Motorola had this statement about the latest interest from Icahn:
    Motorola Mobility’s Board of Directors and management team continuously reviews the Company’s strategic direction and opportunities that it believes are in the best interests of the Company and all of its stockholders. Since Motorola Mobility became a new, independent public company in the first quarter of 2011, it has delivered innovative products and solid growth, including 22% revenue growth during its first quarter. Motorola Mobility has achieved these results, in part due to the fact that it has one of the strongest and most respected patent portfolios in the industry with over 17,000 patents and 7,500 pending.

The company's shares were up $2.78, or 12.41 percent, to $25.19, in after-hours trading Thursday on the news.

Why this matters
Icahn first called for Motorola to consider breaking the company up in January 2007. After share buying, legal wranglings and much press coverage, Motorola finally split into two companies in January 2011.

For more
Read up on Icahn and Motorola's slow dance to a break-up:

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile

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