Qualcomm leaves the door open for potential Broadcom deal

Broadcom is pushing for a meeting with Qualcomm "without delay."
Written by Charlie Osborne, Contributing Writer
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Broadcom's unsolicited bid to acquire Qualcomm has been met with rejection after rejection, but Qualcomm has said it is willing to discuss a potential deal.

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

The original acquisition bid was valued at $130 billion, in which Qualcomm shareholders would receive $70.00 per share in cash and Broadcom stock, a 28 percent premium over the $54.84 closing price of Qualcomm common stock in November on the day rumors of a potential buyout surfaced.

Qualcomm rejected the deal, arguing that the floated buyout price was a "significant undervaluation."

Broadcom then ramped up the pressure and targeted individual shareholders in an attempt to gain influence from the inside of the US chip giant.

This, too, met with failure and resulted in Broadcom pushing forward a final offer.

The "best and final" offer is worth roughly $146 billion and gives shareholders $82 per share, equating to $60 in cash and $22 in Broadcom stock -- a 50 percent premium on the firm's share price on 2 November 2017 and a 56 percent premium on the last 30 days as a weighted average, ending 5 February.

The revised price also includes taking over $25 billion in net debt from Qualcomm.

Once more, Qualcomm turned its nose up at the figure, saying the deal still "materially undervalued" the company.

However, the door was not completely closed and Broadcom's "best and final" deal may not be so final after all.

The US chip giant said on Thursday that while its board of directors has unanimously rejected the deal, the company was willing to meet with Broadcom to address the valuation sticking point.

As Qualcomm has been resolute in an utter dismissal of a potential deal so far, this olive branch is one Broadcom has grabbed with both hands.

On Friday, Broadcom released a letter sent from Hock Tan, Broadcom president and CEO to Qualcomm's Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors, Dr. Paul Jacobs.

It didn't take long for Tan to offer to meet with Qualcomm as soon as today or over the weekend, although the earliest Qualcomm will consider is Tuesday -- which is after Qualcomm's and Broadcom's respective meetings with proxy advisors Glass Lewis and ISS.

"Broadcom has long sought a meeting to discuss Broadcom's acquisition of Qualcomm," Tan wrote. "We hope that your willingness to meet with us reflects Qualcomm's genuine intent to reach an agreement with respect to our February 5 proposal.

After having met with most of your largest stockholders this past week, we have no doubt that this is their strong desire as well."

Tan said he was "astonished" that Qualcomm would not meet until after the advisory session has been and gone, and has pleaded that the company "meet with us without further delay."

If Qualcomm wants more on the table to consider the proposed merger, Tan might be under pressure to provide.

The executive and Broadcom as a whole have aggressively pursued a potential deal, and while the letter states that "$82 per Qualcomm share is our best and final offer," both companies may have to compromise for a potential deal to be secured -- should this reflect shareholder wishes.

"We urge you to meet with us without further delay, and stand ready to meet this Saturday or Sunday in New York or another mutually convenient location," Tan said.

Broadcom may be keen to seal the deal, but Qualcomm also has acquisitions of its own to handle.

See also: Qualcomm: Mesh networking is the future of smart homes

On Friday, Qualcomm extended the offering period of its cash tender offer to acquire NXP Semiconductors.

The original deal, announced back in 2016, will now extend to 23 February in order to secure outstanding shares and complete the purchase. Alternatively, Qualcomm may terminate the deal, which is also an option stipulated in Broadcom's acquisition offer.

Previous and related coverage

    Broadcom offers to buy Qualcomm in $130 billion deal

    If the deal goes through, it will be one of the largest acquisitions of its kind in history.

    Qualcomm rejects Broadcom's final $146 billion offer

    Qualcomm believes the offer "materially undervalues" itself, but has offered to meet with Broadcom to address concerns.

    Qualcomm touts OEM, carrier wins for global 5G launches in 2019

    The chip giant announced that its Snapdragon X50 modem chipset was chosen by 19 global operators for upcoming mobile 5G trials.

    Broadcom submits final $146 billion offer in Qualcomm takeover bid

    Updated: The sweetened deal also assumes $25 billion in debt from Qualcomm.

    Broadcom plots $130 billion buyout of Qualcomm for more industrial Internet, connected auto and 5G clout

    Broadcom, which is the product of a series of acquisitions and mergers, wants to roll up two major communications chip vendors and compete with Samsung and Intel.

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