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posted: 5/4/2012 9:06 PM

Motorola Mobility planning to leave Libertyville?

Reports indicate Google is looking for office space, would move HQ from Libertyville once takeover is done

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  • Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc.'s campus in Libertyville has about 3,000 employees.

    Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc.'s campus in Libertyville has about 3,000 employees.
    Bloomberg Photo

  • Video: Motorola Mobility video

Daily Herald report

Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. might be looking to move its headquarters from Libertyville to Chicago, Crain's Chicago Business reported Friday, citing unnamed sources.

Motorola Mobility spokeswoman Jennifer Erickson and Google Inc. spokeswoman Niki Fenwick both said they cannot comment on the rumor.

Google, which has agreed to acquire Motorola Mobility, has reportedly been looking for more than 500,000 square feet of office space in downtown Chicago for Motorola Mobility once it completes its $12.5 billion takeover of the mobile phone maker.

Libertyville Mayor Terry Weppler said he was unaware of any intentions by Motorola Mobility to leave town. The company employs about 3,000 workers at the Libertyville campus.

Among the handful of sites under consideration are upper floors of the landmark Merchandise Mart in River North and Fulton Market Cold Storage, a large warehouse that's slated for redevelopment in the West Loop, Crain's reported, citing a source familiar with the matter.

Crain's couldn't say how many employees would make the move downtown but said the size of the space under consideration suggests that most of Motorola Mobility's workers would be leaving Libertyville.

Last August, Google said it planned to acquire Motorola Mobility for about $12.5 billion after all regulatory approvals for the global companies. They are still awaiting approval from the Chinese government.

The sale came in the wake of a deal with the state in May 2011 that provided Motorola Mobility more than $110 million of tax incentives. As part of that deal, Motorola Mobility agreed to keep at least 2,500 workers at its Libertyville headquarters, while Gov. Pat Quinn said the company made "an oral commitment" to keep 3,000 jobs.

It's unclear whether moving to Chicago would change Motorola Mobility's tax incentive agreement with the state, a spokeswoman for the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity said. If the company did seek to change the agreement, the department would have to sign off for the deal to be in effect, she said.

Motorola Mobility employs about 3,290. Quinn's office did not return requests for comment Friday.

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