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Seeking to break a months-long stalemate, Broadcom today announced that it has significantly increased its offer to acquire Qualcomm, raising the bid to $121 billion.
Under terms of the new offer, Broadcom would pay $82 per share. Qualcomm’s stock closed Friday at $66.07 per share, up from as low as $51.01, where it sat just before word of Broadcom’s interest leaked last fall. Indeed, Broadcomm noted that the offer was a 50 percent premium over Qualcomm’s stock price on November 2, 2017.
In mid-November, Qualcomm rejected a $103 million offer from Broadcom. The deal valued Qualcomm’s stock at $70 per share, including $60 per share in cash and $10 per share in stock. Broadcom has been trying unsuccessfully to get Qualcomm’s board to enter into negotiations ever since.
According to a press release from Qualcomm, the new offer is for $60.00 per share in cash and $22.00 per share in Broadcom stock.
“Consistent with its fiduciary duties, the Qualcomm Board of Directors, in consultation with its financial and legal advisors, will review the revised proposal to determine the course of action it believes is in the best interests of the Company and its stockholders,” Qualcomm said in a statement.
In a dueling press release, Broadcomm called this its “best and final offer.”
The new bid comes one month before Qualcomm’s board meets for its annual shareholder meeting on March 6. Broadcom is seeking to do an end run around the board by nominating its own candidates in advance of the shareholder vote. The hope is that if Qualcomm’s board members continue to hold out, shareholders enticed by the new offer might replace them next month.
“This proposal to acquire Qualcomm is extremely compelling compared to any other alternative available to Qualcomm…and we believe any responsible board would engage with us, without further delay, to turn this proposal into an executed definitive agreement,” read a letter that Broadcom sent to Qualcomm. “We continue to hope you choose to engage with us for the benefit of your stockholders. However, we will withdraw this proposal and cease our pursuit of Qualcomm immediately following your upcoming annual meeting unless we have entered into a definitive agreement or the Broadcom-nominated slate is elected.”
The takeover bid is just one more indication of how the shift from desktop to mobile has turned the chip industry upside down. Though such hostile takeovers have happened in tech, they remain rare.
In this case, both companies are major Apple suppliers. Broadcom is hoping a deal would make it the dominant company in the market for smartphone chips. And Qualcomm is seen as having a bigger advantage in the market for chips for 5G networks.
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