Tuesday, 16 October, 2018

Republican lawmakers back review of Broadcom's Qualcomm bid

Qualcomm building is shown in San Diego California U.S. Mike B  REU Qualcomm building is shown in San Diego California U.S. Mike B REU
Oscar Goodwin | 07 March, 2018, 00:22

In the latest twist in a high-stakes semiconductor industry takeover battle, Qualcomm has delayed its annual meeting scheduled for Tuesday, where shareholders could have endorsed Broadcom's $117 billion offer. But CFIUS-which includes officials from the Defense, Energy, Homeland Security, and Justice departments-is taking more time to review the bid to determine whether a foreign acquisition of Qualcomm constitutes a national security threat.

Qualcomm, for its part, rejected many of Broadcom's points, and noted the issue is a "very serious matter".

The meeting was supposed to be Tuesday morning, but the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States requested a month delay late Sunday after it chose to look at Broadcom Ltd.'s hostile takeover bid for Qualcomm. "This measure will afford CFIUS the ability to investigate fully Broadcom's proposed acquisition of Qualcomm". "Broadcom's claims that the CFIUS inquiry was a surprise to them has no basis in fact". "It is critical that Qualcomm stockholders know that Qualcomm did not once mention submitting a voluntary notice to CFIUS in any of its interactions with Broadcom to date". Broadcom has nominated six directors to Qualcomm's board in its effort to purchase the company, and a Monday report from Bloomberg News said that shareholders were backing Broadcom's nominees in early voting.

Broadcom said on Monday it is run by a board and senior management team consisting nearly entirely of Americans and is largely owned by the same USA institutional investors that own Qualcomm.

The government stepped in to effectively delay the apparent hostile takeover of USA chipmaker Qualcomm by Singapore-based Broadcom Limited that would be the largest tech merger ever. "This brings Qualcomm's "engagement theater" to a new low". "Better to keep it in American hands and protect American national security".

Broadcom said on Monday that CFIUS' intervention was the result of secret moves made by Qualcomm on January 29 to seek an investigation into the offer, which Qualcomm's board has said significantly undervalues the company. The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) directed Qualcomm to postpone the meeting for 30 days.

Five other members of Congress signed the Gallagher letter on Friday that was sent to Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin.

Huawei is forging closer commercial ties with big telecommunication operators across Asia, the Americas and Europe, putting the company in prime position to lead the global race for wireless 5G networks, despite US allegations it poses a security threat. Scott Peters, D-San Diego, and Duncan Hunter, R-Alpine, had called for a review of the deal, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.

The heightened scrutiny reflects the growing concern by US President Donald Trump and lawmakers over the flurry of deals in the United States by foreign companies. A combined Broadcom-Qualcomm would create the world's third-largest chip maker, behind Samsung and Intel. It would also risk cutting off clients worth billions of dollars in business every year.

Here's my opinion: hostile takeovers nearly always result in a bad company. Qualcomm said it would challenge that fine.

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