Carl Icahn Ups Motorola Stake, Bringing Ownership to 10.4%

Carl Icahn is once again betting big on Motorola (MOT), snapping up 11.5 million shares this week for a 10.4% stake in the company, according to a Wall Street Journalreport. Icahn's $86.2 million purchase of the shares bodes well for getting investor support behind Motorola's upcoming split into two companies, which is expected in the first quarter.

Icahn has long been an advocate of breaking the company's mobile handset business out into a separate company, viewing it as a means to unlock shareholder value. The billionaire investor went toe-to-toe with Motorola two years ago, eventually reaching a settlement with the company that afforded him two representatives on Motorola's board of directors and that honored his long-desired action to break the company in two.

As part of that settlement, Icahn was also given the right to provide input on the company's reorganization and, more importantly, receive information - "subject to certain confidentiality restrictions" - regarding the split.