Motorola’s Uneven Split

Motorola Inc. (MOT) is planning to funnel billions of dollars to its money-losing cellphone business when it splits off into a separate company next year.

Under a structure now taking shape, Motorola is planning to buy back most of its debt and give the bulk of its remaining cash–roughly $3 billion to $4 billion–to a new company centered on the cellphone unit, according to people familiar with the matter.

The Schaumburg, Ill., company would also free the cellphone company of pension liabilities and most other obligations, highlighting how hard the Motorola board is pushing to ensure the viability of the business.

A Motorola spokeswoman declined to comment on the company’s specific plans. “The co-CEOs have a common vision and continue to work together and with respective teams to position each business to stand alone and succeed,” she said.

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