There’s major technology news for our region, with the announcement by Google that it is buying Libertyville, Ill.-based Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion in cash. Google said it would pay $40 per share, a 63 percent premium, based on the company’s Friday closing price on the New York Stock Exchange.
On Monday, shares of Motorola Mobility jumped as much as 59 percent, Reuters reported.
Mountain View, Calif.-based Google, which has offices around the Midwest, has been collaborating with Motorola Mobility for some time on its Android-operating system cell phones.
Crain’s Chicago Business billed the buy as a win for both companies, saying that Google gets more than 17,000 Motorola patents to solidify the Android software. Key Motorola Mobility shareholder/billionaire investor Carl Icahn called it a “great outcome for all shareholders”.
Still, the announcement came as a surprise to the local tech community, Wailin Wong of the Chicago Tribune reported. In May, after reportedly considering a move to California, Motorola Mobility accepted $117 million in incentives over 10 years from the state of Illinois to stay and retain about 3,000 jobs.
A spokeswoman for Gov. Pat Quinn said the state expects Google keep workers here in Illinois, rather than move them to California. She told Crain’s via email,
“We welcome Google’s expanded presence in Illinois, and would expect that Google will live up to the agreements that Motorola Mobility made to the state, which includes keeping its corporate headquarters here, along with thousands of high-tech jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars in private investment.”
The big question — how many of these jobs will stay in Illinois – has yet to be answered.