USA security concerns delay Qualcomm vote on $142bn Broadcom sale

06 March, 2018, 01:45 | Author: Jeannette Greene
  • Reuters

The hostile offer "provides greater value and certainty to Qualcomm stockholders, with less risk, than any other available alternative", Broadcom told shareholders.

San Jose-based Qualcomm Inc. will push back the March 6 annual shareholder meeting by at least 30 days to comply with a CFIUS order as the national-security-focused interagency committee investigates Broadcom Corp.'s takeover efforts. Any Broadcom candidates elected would be required to act in the best interest of Qualcomm and its shareholders.

In what Broadcom calls an "engagement theater", the company claims that Qualcomm did not disclose the request to Broadcom, which was seen as an "intentional lack of disclosure".

Last week, - a move that might have national security implications for the development of 5G technology in America. "This measure will afford CFIUS the ability to investigate fully Broadcom's proposed acquisition of Qualcomm".

The SEC has cleared Broadcom's preliminary proxy statement.


Qualcomm and Broadcom are two of the biggest makers of components that are crucial to modern communications systems, including fixed-line and mobile. USA lawmakers in the past have called Chinese companies like Huawei and ZTE a national security threat due to their close ties to the Chinese government. Broadcom shareholders are expected to vote on the move in early May. The company said it recognizes "the important role CFIUS plays in protecting our national security, and is fully committed to cooperating with CFIUS in any review". A combined Broadcom-Qualcomm would create the world's third-largest chip maker, behind Samsung and Intel. National security is also the reason the president gave last week for imposing tariffs on imported steel and aluminum.

President Donald Trump a year ago blocked a Chinese-backed takeover of Lattice Semiconductor Corp. because of the importance of semiconductors to the US government and China's role in the proposed acquisition.

They were joined late Friday by five other members of Congress, led by Wisconsin Republican Mike Gallagher. But deals involving foreign companies, especially those of sensitive US technology like semiconductors, have increasingly been in the spotlight. Once Broadcom re-domiciles - now planned for no later than May 6 - the takeover wouldn't be a CFIUS covered transaction, Broadcom said in a statement Tuesday. But it now appears willing to continue to pursue its bid for Qualcomm through the CFIUS review, said Bernstein Research Analyst Stacy Rasgon in a research note. Nonetheless, regulators, who were asked to look at the deal by Qualcomm, pushed for a delay.

Qualcomm, one of Apple's main suppliers, is now engaged in the acquisition of the Dutch group NXP and has indicated the operation will proceed regardless of the outcome of discussions with Broadcom. On Monday, it extended its $127.50 per share tender offer until March 9.

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