Moto to Split in Two on Jan. 4

Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT) has finally revealed the date that it will split the company in two: Jan. 4, 2011.

On that day, the consumer side, which will be led by Sanjay Jha and sell handsets and cable boxes, will become Motorola Mobility and trade under the ticker symbol "MMI" on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) . The government side, which sells radios and public safety equipment, will become Motorola Solutions Inc. under the leadership of Greg Brown and trade under ticker symbol "MSI" on the NYSE.

Shareholders of the current company, as of Dec. 21, will receive one share of Mobility spin-off for every eight shares they've got in their portfolio. Following the distribution of Motorola Mobility common stock to Motorola stockholders, Motorola will effect a 1-for-7 reverse stock split of Motorola common stock, which will become effective prior to the market open on Jan. 4, 2011.

Why this matters
The move suggests that the Motorola board is now confident enough in the recovery of the mobile devices business -- much of it thanks to its Droid line of phones based on the Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) operating system -- to okay the spin-off. Jha and crew will likely be showing off new Android devices at the CES show in Las Vegas for the rest of that week.

Motorola had previously started to mull the idea of selling off the mobile devices unit in early 2008, after pressure from activist investor Carl Icahn. The recession and Motorola's inability to follow up the success of its Razr nixed that idea, however, and the firm confirmed a plan to split in 2010. It sold its network business to Nokia Networks earlier this year.

For more
See the following stories below for more on the split:

  • Moto Looks to Diversify, Build on Android Success
  • Motorola Mobility: Westward, Ha!
  • Moto Shuffles Ahead of Split
  • Moto Wants to Do the Splits
  • Motorola Delays Devices Unit Spinoff
  • Icahn Buys Moto Shares

    — Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile

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