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Motorola Solutions buying back shares from Icahn

February 27, 2012|By Wailin Wong

Motorola Solutions Inc. has bought back $1.2 billion of its shares from Carl Icahn, reducing the stake of a long-time investor who has asserted his influence over the company in recent years.

The Schaumburg-based company said Monday it purchased 23.7 million shares of its common stock at $49.15 apiece, using funds that are part of an existing $3 billion stock repurchase program. The agreement with Icahn also involved the resignation of board member Vincent Intrieri, an executive at Icahn's investment entities.

In a statement, Motorola Solutions Greg Brown thanked Intrieri for his service and said “his contributions, along with Carl's, have been constructive and are appreciated.”

Icahn has a long history with Motorola. In 2008, two Icahn allies joined Motorola's board in exchange for the investor dropping a proxy fight. Icahn was also given a say in Motorola's plans to split into two companies, a process that concluded at the beginning of 2011, when Motorola spun off its mobile devices division into an independent entity called Motorola Mobility.

At Motorola Mobility, where Icahn also holds a stake, he was vocal in his desire to see the company monetize its vast patent portfolio. Google is now acquiring Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion, a deal designed to give the search giant access to intellectual property related to the Android mobile operating system.

Separately, Motorola Solutions said Monday it has taken over the running of a Norwegian nationwide communications system from Nokia Siemens Networks. Motorola Solutions said the project is one of its company's largest nationwide public safety contracts and will bring in about $750 million in revenue through 2026. As part of the transfer of the contract, 25 Nokia Siemens Networks employees in Norway will join Motorola Solutions.

In mid-day trade, Motorola Solutions' stock was up 0.9 percent at $49.86.

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