Wednesday, 25 April, 2018

Broadcom officialy ends Qualcomm takeover following White House intervention

Trump blocks Broadcom's USD 117 billion bid to buy Qualcomm Trump Blocks Broadcom's $117B Takeover Bid For Qualcomm
Heather Davidson | 17 March, 2018, 01:41

President Donald Trump on Monday issued an executive order effectively blocking Broadcom Ltd.'s $117 billion takeover bid for California-based Qualcomm Inc., citing national security grounds.

Trump's order echoed that concern, saying a takeover by Broadcom "threatens to impair the national security of the United States".

Broadcom is also withdrawing a proposed slate of nominees to Qualcomm's board of directors.

The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), which vets acquisitions of U.S. corporations by foreign companies, said the Broadcom takeover risked weakening Qualcomm, which would boost China in the 5G race.

When the president comes to San Diego on Tuesday, an explanation of his decision is needed - not just by residents but by nations that see themselves as USA allies.

Lobbying by chip giant Intel, which was wary of a Qualcomm-Broadcom merger, is said to have played a role in the scuttling of the deal. Qualcomm said that Broadcom was fundamentally underestimating the company's value.

A Broadcom takeover could see the company cut research and development spending by Qualcomm or sell strategically important parts of the company to other buyers, including those in China, officials and analysts said.

"Although we are disappointed with this outcome, Broadcom will comply with the order".

Trump's reason for blocking the US$117m deal was "national security risks". "Broadcom will continue to move forward with its redomiciliation process and will hold its Special Meeting of Stockholders as planned on March 23", the company said in a statement. He blocked the deal just hours after speaking with Hock Tan, Broadcom's CEO at the Pentagon, who was trying to save the deal.

The members of CFIUS include the heads of the Departments of the Treasury (chair), Justice, Homeland Security, Commerce, Defense, State, Energy, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, and the Office of Science & Technology Policy. A few weeks after the visit, when Tan promised to headquarter his company in the U.S., Broadcom announced the acquisition of Brocade was complete on November 17.

Headlined simply "Trump Was Right To Block Merger", the Times explained that Trump's pre-emptive move to prevent Singapore company Broadcom Limited's purchase of the largest domestic semiconductor manufacturer made sense considering the sensitive nature of computer chips. Rejected by the American chipmaker's board, Broadcom looked to conduct a hostile takeover.

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