Qualcomm Quietly Exits Wireless Charging & Healthcare – on the Same Day

Qualcomm sold its businesses in the wireless vehicle charging sector and the mobile healthcare sector on the same day. The company said the actions will help it focus on areas that leverage its core technologies in the wireless arena.

"In efforts to focus investments on core business and growing adjacent businesses that leverage our core technologies, we have made the decision to divest Qualcomm Life to Francisco Partners and Qualcomm Halo to WiTricity," the company said in a statement to Light Reading.

Although Qualcomm is clearly backing away from some business areas, the company remains focused on a range of opportunities spanning the mobile, auto, IoT, networking and PC sectors.

Nonetheless, the sale of both Qualcomm's Halo wireless vehicle charging business (to WiTricity) and its Qualcomm Life mobile healthcare subsidiary (to private equity firm Francisco Partners) come after Qualcomm escaped a hostile takeover by Broadcom but failed to acquire automotive technology company NXP. (See Qualcomm's $44B Bid for NXP Collapses.)

And although Qualcomm posted a profit in its most recent quarter, recovering from a $6 billion loss the year prior, Qualcomm's revenues fell 20% -- and the company warned it expects revenues to continue to decline in the coming months as it works to ink licensing agreements with the likes of Apple.

Qualcomm also underwent a round of layoffs last year -- the company ended 2018 with roughly 35,400 full-time, part-time and temporary employees, down roughly 2,400 positions from 2017 due to its cost-cutting efforts.

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Thus, Qualcomm looks to be shedding some of its bloat at it works to scale up the sale of its chips in areas like 5G, the IoT and PCs.

As for Qualcomm's latest thinning efforts, the company didn't disclose much in the way of details about either of its transactions, including the financial terms of the deals. For Halo, Qualcomm said the sale to WiTricity also includes "certain technology platform and IP assets, which will bring to over 1,500 the number of patents and patent applications related to wireless charging that WiTricity will own or control."

And as for Life, Qualcomm said Francisco Partners will rename the mobile healthcare subsidiary to Capsule Technologies, and the business will continue operating in two business segments: Capsule (providing medical device connectivity solutions for hospitals) and 2net (a medical-grade mobile connectivity platform).

Qualcomm doesn't provide details on the financial situation of either business in its filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The company makes no mention of wireless charging in its financials, and its "mobile health" operation falls into its "nonreportable" business segments.

Mike Dano, Editorial Director, 5G & Mobile Strategies, Light Reading | @mikeddano

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