Arris Sniffing Around Motorola's Set-Top Unit?

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Motorola this week received several bids for its Home & Networks Mobility unit from private equity firms — and Arris may also be interested in jumping into the ring, Reuters reported Friday.

Motorola has been shopping the unit, which includes set-top box, video equipment and wireless networking businesses, reportedly for upwards of $5 billion (see Moto’s Cable Unit: Breaking Free From Mobile Phones). The group has been a bright spot amid Moto’s sagging mobile-phone business.

Reuters, citing anonymous sources, said Motorola’s management team in the last few weeks has made presentations about the unit’s financial performance to potential buyers, including Arris. It’s not clear whether Arris has put in an offer, and it would be more likely to team up with private-equity firms than go it alone, the news service reported.

Initial bids for Home & Networks Mobility, which Motorola formed in a 2007 company reorganization, came from private-equity firms including Bain Capital, TPG Capital, Blackstone Group, KKR and Silver Lake Partners, according to Reuters. The Wall Street Journal last month reported TPG and Silver Lake had initially approached Motorola about buying the unit, which set the spin-off wheels in motion. According to Reuters, the PE firms’ bids are likely to be at a multiple of around 6-7 times the unit’s EBITDA, which would value it at $4 billion or less.

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