Page last updated at 07:26 GMT, Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Icahn sues for Motorola documents

Motorola handset
Motorola says it is working on improving its range of phones

Shareholder activist Carl Icahn has said he is suing Motorola to force it to release documents about its struggling mobile phone handset unit.

Mr Icahn, Motorola's second-biggest shareholder, said he wanted to determine whether the company's directors had "failed in their duties".

The billionaire is increasing the pressure on Motorola as he continues to press for four seats on its board.

Motorola said Mr Icahn's legal move was an "unnecessary distraction".

'Too often wrong'

"Over the past 12 months the statements and predictions of Motorola's management and the board about mobile devices business have too often proven to be wrong," said Mr Icahn in a statement.

Carl Icahn
Mr Icahn wants four places on the Motorola board

"We demanded these materials for the purposes of enabling us to investigate whether and to what extent the board of directors of Motorola failed in their duties as directors in supervising management and setting policy and direction of Motorola."

Motorola said it had offered Mr Icahn access to information about the company under a confidentiality agreement, but Icahn had declined the offer.

The company said in January that it may spin off its loss-making handset division, which lost $1.2bn (600m) last year and saw sales plummet 33%.

Motorola has agreed with analysts that it needs a better range of phones.

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