Key parts of Birminghambased Sendo - the UK's only mobile phone manufacturer - have been snapped up US electronics giant Motorola after the ailing firm yesterday called in administrators.
The 11th hour deal will see Sendo's research and development expertise - as well as its valuable intellectual property portfolio - change hands.
However, Motorola last night stressed it was not acquiring the "larger business" of Sendo - in essence its overseas manufacturing arm and supply relationships, or any of its assets, liabilities or financial obligations.
Formed by chief executive Hugh Brogan in 2000, Sendo had carved out a niche for itself in the hugely competitive market for low cost mobile handsets.
Last year, it sold some five million handsets to companies such as Virgin Mobile and Vodafone, bringing in business worth more than $420 million (£232 million). Sendo's assembly of handsets is carried out in the Far East.
But the rapid growth of the company - which was embroiled in a bruising legal battle with Microsoft - put a massive strain on its finances.
Last September, Sendo settled a legal dispute with Microsoft after accusing the software giant of passing on its trade secrets to a rival handset manufacturer. Microsoft agreed to hand back its four per cent stake in the business, which it acquired in 2001 for $12 million, as part of the settlement.
However, Sendo has since been embroiled in another legal dispute, this time with Ericsson over an alleged patent infringement. Sendo is fighting the case
But only a few days ago Mr Brogan admitted the company was in talks to avert a financial crisis. Mr Brogan, who used to work at Motorola's handset division before leaving for Philips in the mid-1990s, confirmed Sendo needed extra money to keep going and growing.
Sendo had "bumped in and out of profitability" in recent months as a result of heavy investments to expand operations, he added.
Motorola, based in Libertyville, Illinois, has not disclosed how much it has paid for Sendo's R&D operation - based in Birmingham and Singapore.
The R&D team comprises nearly 200 engineers - nearly 170 based in Birmingham.
Motorola said it would integrate them into its Mobile Devices business.
The deal also sees Motorola taking over Sendo's design and test equipment.
It will also acquire Sendo's entire intellectual property portfolio - including 50 existing and 40 pending patents.
Ron Garriques, president of Motorola Mobile Devices, said: "Motorola is thrilled to welcome the Sendo research and development team and their proven expertise in designing solutions for wireless operators. With Motorola, this team will have a chance to flourish and help transform the way people experience mobile communications."