HTC has issued a trading halt on its stock, effective tomorrow, as it’s set to make a major announcement to shareholders, Bloomberg today published a report claiming that Google is closing in on a deal to acquire “assets” from the company.
HTC is reportedly planning to hold a town hall meeting at its headquarters on Thursday, according to VentureBeat’s Evan Blass. If that’s true, this deal could very well already be done, leaving Google and HTC to finalize everything before making their agreement public tomorrow. Bloomberg’s report doesn’t get us any closer to knowing exactly what parts of HTC’s business that Google will be buying, nor how much money it’s spending to make this happen.
A source told Blass that Google is focused on the company’s hardware engineering assets, which would potentially allow the HTC brand to carry on as part of the Vive/virtual reality business. But it also remains very possible that Google will absorb the entire brand and a good number of HTC employees in a more thorough buyout rather than being selective.
 According to this person, the companies have finalized a deal wherein GOOG will acquire certain HW eng assets, but HTC retains its brand
— Evan Blass (@evleaks) September 20, 2017
Neither company has denied that a potential acquisition is in the works in the weeks since this rumor surfaced. Each has only given the standard corporate response of refusing to comment on rumors or speculation.
In a continuation of a partnership that began with last year’s Pixel smartphones, HTC and Google are currently working towards the launch of the Pixel 2, expected to debut on October 4th. But this time, a different company — LG — is manufacturing the larger-sized phone.
HTC announced that it will temporarily halt trading of its shares on the Taiwan stock exchange tomorrow pending the release of “material information,” which means significant news is coming.
In 2012, Google paid $12.5 billion for Motorola Mobility, a leading Android handset manufacturer. In less than three years, Google sold it off to Lenovo Group Ltd. for under $3 billion.
In 2014, Google dropped $3.2 billion on Nest Labs, maker of connected thermostats and — at the time — Google’s chosen vehicle for a design-savvy device operation that could rival Apple Inc. in the home. But new products have been slow to reach the market and Nest was burdened with corporate drama that pushed out its chief executive, Tony Fadell, last year.
But Motorola and HTC are two very different propositions. Moto was a larger business with its own distinct brand, including strengths in budget smartphones. Google wants HTC so it can churn out a distinct flagship device to showcase the very best of Android. Similar companies, very different plans