Qualcomm rejects Broadcom's $121 billion buyout bid

Saturday, 10 Feb, 2018

Qualcomm and Broadcom's top brass will be meeting again to discuss all of this.

But the question of when still remains.

Back in November, Broadcom announced that the company wanted to acquire one of its rivals in the semiconductor space, U.S. chipmaker Qualcomm.

Broadcom is prepared to acquire Qualcomm for an aggregate of $82.00 per Qualcomm share, consisting of $60.00 in cash and the remainder in Broadcom shares.

In a letter to Broadcom CEO, Hock Tan, Qualcomm's chairman, Paul Jacobs expressed his regulatory concerns: "It is indisputable that there are significant regulatory hurdles in your proposed transaction".

Qualcomm's board said on Thursday - the date of Tan's letter - that it had rejected a revised takeover bid from Broadcom.

While Qualcomm continues to resist the takeover bid, the company is well aware that a significant proportion of its shareholders are urging Qualcomm to continue dialogue with Broadcom in case a more attractive deal can be struck.

Broadcom's "best and final" offer for Qualcomm comes with conditions related to the NXP acquisition. Broadcom responded by attempting to oust Qualcomm's board, nominating 11 candidates ahead of the election at the company's annual general meeting on 6 March. Yet the simple fact that Qualcomm and Broadcom management have agreed to meet indicates at least a thawing of relations between the two companies. Another issue outlined by Jacob was that there was no valuation for NXP, which is a semiconductor company that Qualcomm is acquiring.

It goes on asking: "Is Broadcom willing to commit to take whatever actions are necessary to ensure the proposed transaction closes?"

Another element of interest here is that even if the bid was accepted by Qualcomm, chances of it getting approved were quite slim as regulators might have decided that it would affect the balance of power in the smartphone chip market.

Jacobs' letter also maintains that the $121 billion offer for Qualcomm significantly undervalues the company and ascribes no accretive value for Qualcomm's pending acquisition of NXP Semiconductors or the opportunity offered by the move to 5G cellular technology. That cash influx fuels industry-leading research and design, which in turn helps the chip unit build the most advanced products. "And at the moment, there is no "next" step", Qualcomm said.