Thursday, January 30, 2014

Google Sold Motorola to Lenovo

WSJ, 1/30/2014, "Google Sells Handset Business to Lenovo", By ROLFE WINKLER and SPENCER E. ANTE

Lenovo 上個星期才跟 IBM 談好要買下他們的低階伺服器部門,這個星期他們又跟 Google 用 $2.91 bn 買下了手機部門,也就是原先的 Motorola。當時 Google 是在 2012 年 5 月用 $12.5 bn 買下 Motorola 的,不過這價差並不全都是 Google 的損失,因為他們還保持著相當大比例的 Motorola 專利在手上,而那些專利是 Google 買下 Moto 的最主要原因。


由於 Moto 的市值目前仍然高於前年 Google 出的 $12.5bn,而且他們雖然市佔持續表現不佳,無法追上領先者,但是仍然有獲利 (2013 net income $1.1bn)。我的猜測是 Google 應該沒有真的吃虧,所以這些他們留在手上的專利有可能真的有那個價值。留著 Moto 在手上大概也就是現在這樣,不太容易有更好的表現。不過從 Google 的角度來看,他們 2013 年前三季的 profit margin 都超過 25%,Moto 只有 12.6% 左右。加上智慧型手機這個領域已經不可能再提供高速成長的機會了,放掉也是合理的。

Lenovo 這兩個星期的大動作可以從兩個角度來看︰他們很積極的佈局全球,而且也順利的走向世界;不過從這兩個交易也可以看出來美國的大企業仍然是全球的領先者,他們願意丟出來的部門是 Lenovo 在現有基礎上沒辦法自己發展的。

這個案子之後,HTC 又少了一個潛在的買家。我去年對他們的判斷一直是他們遲早要在「把自己賣掉」和「撐到破產為止」這兩種選項之間二選一,看看他們還有多少時間來做選擇。智慧型手機市場連 Apple 和 Samsung 都經營的很辛苦,雖然這兩大廠商仍有豐厚的獲利,但是已經缺乏成長的動能了。去年對 HTC 來說不是一個好年,今年也不會是。

4 comments:

Ben said...

Excellent points as usual, CC. I think Google got rid of Motorola also because of the inherent conflict of interest with their hardware partners like Samsung, LG, Sony, etc. Google probably thought they could manage the conflict but found out otherwise.

As for HTC, we had this conversation about 2 years ago, and things have played out pretty much according to "the plan":) HTC's days are numbered; however, I am surprised that management has not come out with any "strategic alternatives" in the last couple of years. Two possible explanations:

- The management were delusional in thinking that they could turn the ship around. OR
- They tried but they were no interested parties.

I have one question regarding Lenovo - where are they getting all the cash for these acquisitions? debt? equity? Trust products?:)

CCLu said...

Hey, Ben,

Yes, we talked about HTC when you were in Taiwan and it was two years ago. Gosh, time flies.

Good point on inherent conflict of interest.

I don't know where Lenovo got the money. People would speculate that those big Chinese firms all have the Chinese government on their backs, but we might see in the future that they just got cheap credit so easily that they don't even need to pull out their "guanxi" card. I don't think they'll use their own money.

Tian-Shun Feng said...

http://www.engadget.com/2012/12/19/google-sells-motorola-home-arris/

做個備註,前年年底google 已有將motorola部分資產出售。

另外想請教關於'cheap credit'的部份,指得是lenovo能夠輕易貸到付給google的現金部分或者是有足夠的信用能抵消lenovo股份移轉的影響呢?

CCLu said...

"cheap credit" 只是指公司可以輕易的以較低的利息取得資金。

利率低的時候大概要貸款或是賣債券通常不難就是了,因為低利絕大多數時候是資金擁有者競爭放貸的結果。