Pace in Google talks on buying Motorola unit

PACE, the British digibox manufacturer, has launched a bid to take over the set-top box division of Motorola, the electronics giant owned by Google.

Since Motorola Home is believed to be worth far more than Pace, any deal would constitute a reverse takeover under British law, Pace said, as it suspended trading in its shares.

Google is looking to sell off parts of Motorola following its $12.5bn (£7.8bn) acquisition of the company earlier this year. The web giant is focusing on Motorola’s core smartphone business.

The Home division is expected to be worth around $2bn, far above Pace’s stock market value of £566m, so the acquisition would most likely be funded through debt and equity, with Google understood to be retaining a slice.

The deal would create a global leader in the set-top box market, which has become more crowded in recent years as Asian competitors such as Samsung have waded in. Pace is understood to be one of several interested parties.

“Discussions with Google are currently at a preliminary stage and there is no certainty as to whether any agreement regarding any transaction will be reached,” Pace said yesterday.