That time when Google lit a $7 billion pile of money on fire.

Nadia Damouni, Nicola Leske, and Gerry Shih for Reuters:

Lenovo Group said on Wednesday it agreed to buy Google Inc's Motorola handset division for $2.91 billion, in what is China's largest-ever tech deal as Lenovo buys its way into a heavily competitive U.S. handset market dominated by Apple Inc.

The deal ends Google's short-lived foray into making consumer mobile devices and marks a pullback from its largest-ever acquisition. Google paid $12.5 billion for Motorola in 2012. Under this deal the search giant will keep the majority of Motorola's mobile patents, considered its prize assets.

Shares of Google climbed 2.6 percent to about $1,136 in after-hours trading. link

Google spent $12.5B to buy Motorola, then spins off the cable box division for some $2B and change, and now sells the rest of Motorola to Lenovo for $2.91B minus the vast majority of the Motorola patent library. Either those patents are worth more than the $5.5B Google said they were, or Larry Page was looking for a way to pay the bill for the recent Nest purchase.