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Everything but the mobile division might go

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Motorola, having failed to sell off its mobile division, is reportedly considering flogging everything else instead, demonstrating that there's more than one way to skin a dead horse.

Reuters reports that the company has hired JP Morgan to advise it on selling off its television set-top box and network divisions, for somewhere in the region of $4.5bn - a rather extreme way of separating the handset division, but one that might prove necessary.

While the rest of the company has been making money Motorola's handset division has been busy pissing it away at a rate that shows little sign of abating, putting the kibosh on attempts to sell off the division which remains the long-term goal of the company.

"Separation into two independent, publicly traded companies... is the publicly stated long-term goal of Motorola," the company told Reuters in a statement.

Quite who would pony up $4.5bn for the money-making bits of Motorola is open to speculation. The Wall Street Journal reckons Huawei might be interested, while Reuters hedges its bets by putting the money on Ericsson, Samsung, Nokia Siemens or Alcatel Lucent - which seems a reasonable punt considering that's just about the whole industry.

From here the deal looks unlikely: Motorola may well have got JP Morgan to put a price on the business, but it's a long way from there to selling it, and the handset division is going to need life support from the money-making bits for a few years yet. ®

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