Qualcomm's Paul Jacobs denied board position, considers acquisition offer

Broadcom may have failed to acquire the firm, but there are possibilities of an in-house buyout.
Written by Charlie Osborne, Contributing Writer

Video: Qualcomm & Broadcom: The saga

Qualcomm's Paul Jacobs is considering an acquisition bid for the company, and so, it will not rejoin the firm as a member of the board of directors.

On Friday, Qualcomm said the former executive chairman and CEO will not rejoin the board of directors at Qualcomm's Annual Meeting of Stockholders on 23 March 2018.

Jacobs left his post on 9 March in the midst of a hostile takeover bid from Singapore-based Broadcom, and the role of executive chairman was discontinued. The executive has served as chairman of the Board of Qualcomm since 2009, as executive chairman since 2014, and as a director since 2005.

The executive also served as an executive vice president from 2000 to 2005, Group President of Qualcomm Wireless and Internet from 2001 to 2005, and CEO from 2005 to 2014.

The annual meeting will comprise of 10 directors and the current members chose not to reelect Jacobs "following his notification to the board that he has decided to explore the possibility of making a proposal to acquire Qualcomm."

"Following the withdrawal of Broadcom's takeover proposal, Qualcomm is focused on executing its business plan and maximizing value for shareholders as an independent company," the tech giant said. "There can be no assurance that Dr. Jacobs can or will make a proposal, but, if he does, the board will of course evaluate it consistent with its fiduciary duties to shareholders."

The Financial Times reports that the demoted executive has approached a number of global investors to potentially take Qualcomm private.

According to the publication, Japanese conglomerate SoftBank's Vision Fund is a potential investor that Jacobs has approached -- but there may be a conflict of interest as Qualcomm is an investor itself in the consultancy and investment fund.

However, it is also speculated that Jacob's personal ties with founder Masayoshi Son may push a potential deal forward.

The former CEO is likely to face a challenging few months to secure the financing necessary to offer the board a sensible acquisition offer. Jacobs owns less than 1 percent of Qualcomm, and the tech giant has already rejected a deal worth $146 billion from Broadcom.

Jacobs says that he is pleased the board would consider a proposal but found the lack of renomination to the board now Broadcom is out of the picture to be "unfortunate and disappointing."

"These opportunities are challenging as a standalone public company, and there are clear merits to exploring a path to take the company private in order to maximize the company's long-term performance, deliver superior value to all stockholders, and bolster a critical contributor to American technology," Jacobs said in a statement.

See also: Broadcom-Qualcomm went from bad to worse to Trump: The whole sordid saga

Qualcomm was able to resist a hostile takeover bid from Broadcom, and so it will be interesting to see whether an in-house option to maximize shareholder value will be accepted.

Broadcom offered to purchase Qualcomm in November 2017, leading to a long struggle relating to price, Qualcomm's acquisition of NXP Conductors, and regulatory issues. The buyout was prevented after reaching the White House and US President Trump denied the potential merger on the grounds of national security.

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