NEW YORK, May 14 - Motorola is looking to sell its biochip business as it tries to find ways to shed costs and become profitable again, according to a report in Crain's Chicago business journal.
The firm's biochip business, which employs around 400 people in Tempe, Ariz., and Pasadena, Calif., was put on the market earlier in the year, according to Crain's, which cited "former Motorola executives and sources familiar with the company's plans."
A Motorola official would not comment on the news.
If true, the news marks the beginning of the end of Motorola's foray into the biochip business. Motorola CEO Chris Galvin launched the unit in 1998 and hyped it as the company's "third pillar" beside automobile radios and semiconductors.
Analysts interviewed by Crain's now suggest that selling the unit, which Motorola has been trying to do "for months," will be tough. It also was not immediately clear what the company would do if it is unsuccessful in finding a buyer--a likely scenario given the fragmented biochip market and Motorola's single chip product.
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