Wednesday, 26 September, 2018

Broadcom-Qualcomm Showdown Delayed by US Security Panel Order

Reuters Reuters
Lori Graves | 06 March, 2018, 01:48

Over the weekend, Broadcom was told that Qualcomm filed a voluntary request with the Committee on Foreign Investment in the US (CFIUS) to investigate the acquisition's potential national security issues.

Qualcomm shareholders were set to vote on whether to hand control of the San Diego cellular technology company to Broadcom.on Tuesday morning. Any Broadcom candidates elected would be required to act in the best interest of Qualcomm and its shareholders.

In 2011 Chinese smartphone maker Huawei was forced to unwind a $2 million offer to acquire the assets of a failed US company, 3Leaf Systems, when CFIUS determined that 3Leaf's technology could be used in ways that were not in the best interests of the United States.

"Upon completion of the redomiciliation, Broadcom's proposed acquisition of Qualcomm will not be a CFIUS covered transaction", they wrote, adding that Broadcom's board of directors and senior management team comprise mostly American citizens.

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Broadcom, whose six nominees for Qualcomm's board are up for a vote at the shareholder meeting, said on Monday Qualcomm had not disclosed any approach to CFIUS in meetings between the two sides over the past month. "This can only be seen as an intentional lack of disclosure, both to Broadcom and to its own stockholders".

Four of the Broadcom nominees already have more than 500 million votes, with the other two each nearly 150 million ahead of the nearest Qualcomm candidates, according to the data.

"This measure will afford CFIUS the ability to investigate fully Broadcom's proposed acquisition of Qualcomm", the U.S. Department of Treasury said in a statement.

Qualcomm still is awaiting approval from regulators in China to acquire NXP. U.S. President Donald Trump previous year blocked a Chinese-backed takeover of Lattice Semiconductor Corp. because of the importance of semiconductors to the U.S. government and China's role in the proposed acquisition. Qualcomm said it would challenge that fine. Qualcomm is one of the few major corporations with a global reach to be headquartered in a city known mainly for tourism, and smaller defense and life-sciences firms.

"It is my view that failure by CFIUS to review this hostile takeover would potentially encourage other foreign parties to evade CFIUS review by taking control of the boards of sensitive USA businesses through proxy fights", Texas Republican Sen. Broadcom then reduced its offer for Qualcomm to $79 a share. Round two in this battle goes to Qualcomm.

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