Lenovo to buy Motorola from Google for $2-3 billion (Update: Confirmed)

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Lenovo is reportedly close to inking a deal with Google that’ll transfer ownership of Motorola to the Chinese technology company. News of the pending acquisition comes from China Daily and Reuters.

The deal will be worth between $2 and 3 billion and will include the 10,000 patents owned by Motorola. The acquisition is expected to be publicly announced as soon as Wednesday or Thursday.

It’ll be a big financial loss for Google as the company acquired Motorola in 2011 for $12.5 billion. When you factor in the sale of Motorola Home to Arris and the Lenovo payment, Google may be looking at $7 write-off. This one-time write off may be a compromise to get the Motorola money pit off its financial spreadsheet.

Since it acquired Motorola, Google has struggled to make money off the handset maker. The handset maker was a money-losing subsidiary for the search giant, with the latest reported quarterly earnings showing an operating loss of $248 million from the division. This is an increase from the $192 million loss reported in same quarter of 2012.

Details on the transaction and its effect on the company’s North American operations will be revealed soon.

Update: Google confirmed the Lenovo acquisition in a press release on its investor’s website.

The purchase price is approximately US$2.91 billion (subject to certain adjustments), including US$1.41 billion paid at close, comprised of US$660 million in cash and US$750 million in Lenovo ordinary shares (subject to a share cap/floor). The remaining US$1.5 billion will be paid in the form of a three-year promissory note.

Google will maintain ownership of the vast majority of the Motorola Mobility patent portfolio, including current patent applications and invention disclosures. As part of its ongoing relationship with Google, Lenovo will receive a license to this rich portfolio of patents and other intellectual property. Additionally Lenovo will receive over 2,000 patent assets, as well as the Motorola Mobility brand and trademark portfolio.

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