5G and Beyond

Broadcom Offers $130B for Hostile Takeover of Qualcomm

Broadcom revealed Monday that it's offering $105 billion in cash and stock for Qualcomm -- the largest acquisition offer ever seen in the tech world. Qualcomm has so far called the bid "unsolicited" but didn't immediately dismiss the offer.

Under Broadcom Corp. (Nasdaq: BRCM)'s proposal, the $70 per share to be received by Qualcomm stockholders would consist of $60 in cash and $10 in Broadcom shares. The company says that its "proposal represents a 28% premium over the closing price of Qualcomm common stock on November 2, 2017, the last unaffected trading day prior to media speculation regarding a potential transaction."

The November 2 part is important, because Qualcomm stock shot up on November 3 as word about the pending deal got out. (See Could Broadcom Possibly Absorb Qualcomm?.)

Overall, the offer is valued at $130 billion, including $25 billion of net debt. Broadcom has also said it will relocate its headquarters back from Singapore to the US. (See Broadcom Heads Home, Clears Way for Brocade Buyout.)

"The Qualcomm Board of Directors, in consultation with its financial and legal advisors, will assess the proposal in order to pursue the course of action that is in the best interests of Qualcomm shareholders." Qualcomm said in a statement. "Qualcomm will have no further comment until its Board of Directors has completed its review."

Broadcom has been listed as the number one player in "wireless connectivity ICs" by ABI Research , largely thanks to its WiFi and Bluetooth chips. Qualcomm has a 52% share of the smartphone application processor, according to Strategy Analytics Inc. . It makes 3G, 4G, and prototype 5G modems. Rivals include Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) and MediaTek Inc. (Taiwan: 2454)

Meanwhile, Qualcomm is still trying to buy NXP Semiconductors for $39 billion. "Our proposal stands whether your pending acquisition of NXP is consummated on the currently disclosed terms of $110 per share or that transaction is terminated," Broadcom CEO Hock Tan writes in an open letter to Qualcomm's board. (See Qualcomm Makes $39B Bet on NXP.)

One obvious area of overlap between the two companies, which may interest regulators if the deal reaches that stage, is WiFi chips. Qualcomm bought Atheros Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: ATHR) for its WiFi chips in 2011. (See Rumor: Qualcomm to Buy Atheros.)

— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

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