Motorola Solutions Announces Icahn Shares Buyback

By Chris Freeburn February 27, 2012

Motorola Solutions Inc. unveiled an agreement to purchase $1.17 billion of its shares from billionaire investor Carl Icahn, according to the Associated Press. Under terms of the share buyback agreement, Vincent Intrieri, general partner at Icahn Enterprises LP and director at Icahn Enterprises GP, will resign from Motorola Solutions board of directors, the AP said.

The agreement covers roughly 23.7 million Motorola Solutions shares to be acquired from Icahn at $49.15 a share, roughly 28 cents a share below Friday’s market close. The buyback is part of a $3 billion share repurchase program previously announced by the company. Word of the buyback sent Motorola shares down 60 cents, or 1.2 percent, to $48.83 in morning trading on Monday, the AP said. Prior to the repurchase agreement, Icahn was Motorola Solutions largest single shareholder, owning 38.3 million shares, a stake of 11.76 percent in the company, according to Marketwatch. After the completion of the buyback, Icahn will retain almost a five percent stake in the company.

Currently ranked number 61 on the Forbes list of global billionaires and number 25 on the Forbes 400 list of wealthiest Americans, Icahn has been dubbed a “shareholder activist,” who often clashes with the management of companies in which he invests. The AP noted that Icahn was the prime mover in the original decision to break Motorola Inc. into two companies – Motorola Solutions and Motorola Mobility – in 2011, four years after he started acquiring Motorola shares and first demanded a spot on the Motorola board.

In March 2011, Icahn returned money invested in his funds from outside investors saying he didn’t want to feel responsible in the event of more economic turbulence. However, the sale of his stakes in biotechnology leader Biogen and Motorola Mobility boosted his fund’s 2011 performance by a solid 20 percent, according to Forbes, which noted that Google had paid $12.5 billion to acquire Motorola Mobility. The Wall Street Journal estimated that Icahn’s 11 percent share of Motorola Mobility was worth $1.34 billion after Google purchased the company for $40 a share.

Last month, Motorola Solutions announced a 37 percent decline in fourth-quarter earnings due to charges resulting from the sale and disposal of its network business. Annual revenues for the company grew, however, beating analysts’ expectations, according to MarketWatch.

Edited by Rich Steeves

TechZone360 Web Editor

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