October 12, 2007 / 10:18 PM / 10 years ago

Icahn still thinks Motorola should be split up

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Activist investor Carl Icahn said on Friday he still thinks mobile handset maker Motorola Inc MOT.N should be split up and that the company’s handheld business could be worth about $10 billion.

“We do talk with them periodically,” he said in an interview on business news television channel CNBC. “Motorola has great value. If you really split Motorola up, which I still think should happen ... you’re buying that handheld business for only $10 billion, which is next to nothing.”

Motorola’s market capitalization is $43.5 billion based on its closing share price of $19.13 on the New York Stock Exchange on Friday and a share count of 2.29 billion at the end of June.

Its mobile devices generated almost half of its $8.7 billion second-quarter revenue.

Icahn has made few public comments about Motorola after failing to win a seat on the company’s board in May. He lost his bid after a bitter proxy battle over his attempts to change what he said were operational problems at Schaumburg, Illinois- based Motorola.

Motorola has been losing market share to rivals amid criticism of its handset business, which it said would not be profitable this year.

    Earlier on Friday, Icahn said in a CNBC interview that he is glad Oracle Corp ORCL.O made a $6.7 billion bid for BEA Systems Inc BEAS.O and sees Hewlett-Packard Co (HPQ.N) and International Business Machines Corp (IBM.N) as potential bidders.

    Icahn also reported on Friday that, on October 10, he exercised about 34.5 million call options for BEA common stock.

    Motorola shares rose 2 percent to $19.52 in extended trading on Friday from its close of $19.13 earlier in the day.

    Reporting by Sinead Carew and Robert MacMillan

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