Motorola to shut Singapore phone plant, will lay off 700

Motorola will shut down a cell-phone manufacturing plant in Singapore, laying off approximately 700 workers, a company spokeswoman said Thursday.

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Motorola will shut down a cell-phone manufacturing plant in Singapore, laying off approximately 700 workers, a company spokeswoman said Thursday.

Motorola is shutting the plant, which produces high-end handsets, as part of an effort to cut US$500 million (£250m) in costs, said Mary Lamb, a spokeswoman for Motorola in Hong Kong. The decision to shut the plant was made before last week's announcement that Motorola will be split into two companies, she said.

Under that plan, Motorola will split into a handset maker and a company that makes telecommunications equipment, such as WiMax gear. The split is expected to be completed in 2009, with both companies expected to be publicly traded.

Motorola has about 2,500 employees in Singapore, and will be left with 1,800 when the layoffs are completed by the end of this year, Lamb said. The company's regional operations and research and development efforts in Singapore will not be affected by the layoffs and plant closure, she said.