Qualcomm rejects Broadcom's 'inadequate' $121bn bid

Broadcom offers $8 bn to Qualcomm if deal is blocked

Qualcomm's board of directors has unanimously rejected Broadcom's acquisition offer, the company announced this Thursday. Of course, that could be avoided if Broadcom meets with Qualcomm and both agree on a price.

Added Tan: "We want to reiterate that $82 per Qualcomm share is our best and final offer".

Broadcom could continue its attempt to replace Qualcomm's 11 board members with its own directors.

However, Tan, in a letter addressed to Qualcomm Chairman Paul Jacobs, was also miffed at Qualcomm for not wanting to meet until next Tuesday, which is after the boards of both companies are to meet with proxy advisory groups Glass Lewis and Institutional Shareholder services.

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According to the California-based chipset maker, Broadcom's proposal materially undervalues the company and falls well short of the firm regulatory commitment. As Reuters noted, Broadcom kept the cash part of its initial offer at $60 per share but raised the stock portion from $10 to $22 per share. Regulators across the world already have their eyes on Qualcomm, with various anti-trust cases out against the company, such a huge merger between Qualcomm and Broadcom would invite more regulator scrutiny and in a worst case scenario, governments could block the deal on anti-monopoly grounds. Alternatively, Qualcomm may terminate the deal, which is also an option stipulated in Broadcom's acquisition offer.

The move comes three days after Broadcom boosted its offer to $82 a share to create a global giant in the chip-making sector, a deal worth some $146 billion including assumed debt. Regulators may decide that it would be nearly a monopoly on the smartphone chip market. Qualcomm has countered that it expects to win in court over time.

The greatest concern centers around Qualcomm's lucrative technology-licensing business. That US$47 billion deal is close to securing final regulatory approval.

It noted that the proposed offer ascribes no value to Qualcomm's recent $39 billion acquisition of NXP Semiconductors, to the expected resolution of the company's current licensing disputes or to the opportunities presented by the evolution to 5G. That cash influx fuels industry-leading research and design that in turn helps its chip unit build products that dominate the smartphone industry. In December, Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf argued there was "no real path to value" with Broadcom.

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