Summary:

Several private equity firms and Arris, a cable gear supplier, which recently paid $20 million for Digeo, have expressed interest in purchas…

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photo: AP Images

Several private equity firms and Arris, a cable gear supplier, which recently paid $20 million for Digeo, have expressed interest in purchasing Motorola’s profitable set-top box division.

Several sources familiar with the matter told Reuters that the first expressions of interest were due on Wednesday, but were completely nonbinding. Interested private equity firms included Bain Capital, TPG Capital, Blackstone Group KKR and Silver Lake Partners. Arris is likely to team up with a private equity firm.

Last month, reports leaked out that said Motorola (NYSE: MOT) was interested in selling its home and networks mobility unit, which recorded $10.1 billion in 2008 sales. The news that Motorola was interested in selling the unit came as a surprise because it was previously interested in spinning off its struggling mobile phones business. The sale of its profitable set-top business would ding the company’s overall earnings, but may also buy it more time to turnaround the handset business.

A final bid date may take months to schedule. Motorola’s advisers on the deal include Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan. The division may sell for close to $4.5 billion.

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