Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Chipmaker Qualcomm spurns $130 billion Broadcom merger bid

WASHINGTON – Semiconductor giant Qualcomm has rejected a $130 billion bid from fellow chipmaker Broadcom that could represent the biggest-ever takeover in the tech sector.

Singapore-based Broadcom made the offer last week in a deal that would consolidate two major players in the booming sector fueled by growth in smartphones and other connected devices.

The proposal “significantly undervalues Qualcomm relative to the company’s leadership position in mobile technology and our future growth prospects,” Paul Jacobs, Qualcomm’s executive chairman, said in a statement Monday.

Steve Mollenkopf, Qualcomm’s chief executive, said the California company remains confident about its future.

“No company is better positioned in mobile, ‘iot’ (internet of things), automotive, edge computing and networking within the semiconductor industry,” he said.

“We are confident in our ability to create significant additional value for our stockholders as we continue our growth in these attractive segments and lead the transition to 5G,” he said, referring to the fifth-generation wireless networks in the works.

Broadcom responded to the announcement by saying it “remains fully committed” to the planned tie-up.

Broadcom CEO Hock Tan said the deal would create “a strong, global company with an impressive portfolio of industry-leading technologies and products.”

Tan noted that “we have received positive feedback from key customers about this combination” and added that “we continue to believe our proposal represents the most attractive, value-enhancing alternative available to Qualcomm stockholders.”

While Tan did not specifically address whether Broadcom would make a hostile bid, he said, “It remains our strong preference to engage cooperatively with Qualcomm’s board of directors and management team.”

Broadcom could sweeten its bid in an effort to win over management or launch a hostile takeover effort to persuade shareholders to sell or install new board or management members.

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