Hoping to avoid a prolonged national security review, Singapore-based Broadcom said it will move its international headquarters back to the U.S. by April 3 as it continues a hostile takeover bid for rival Qualcomm.
In a press release today, Broadcom confirmed the date for the first time while also emphasizing its roots in the U.S. Indeed, the whole snarled mess surrounding the notion of a foreign company buying a prize like Qualcomm goes right to the heart of what one means by “U.S. company.”
Politicians are worried by the thought of an Asia-based company seizing control of Qualcomm, which is emerging as a leader in next-generation 5G chips. Qualcomm’s board has fought the bid since last November even as Broadcom raised the price to $121 billion.
Last week, the U.S. Treasury’s Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) released a letter saying it was reviewing the transaction for national security risks, putting the deal temporarily on hold. This was not entirely surprising and was one of the reasons Broadcom announced at a ceremony with President Trump last November that it plans to relocate to the U.S.
The company said in its press release today that it supports the CFIUS process and noted that the agency had previously reviewed and cleared its acquisition of Brocade in November 2017. At the close of that transaction, Broadcom agreed to relocate.
The move to the U.S. will be a homecoming for a company that in many ways never really left.
Broadcom began life in Irvine, California as a fabless semiconductor company. It was acquired in 2016 by Avago Technologies, which started as a product division of Hewlett-Packard and was spun off in 1999 into Agilent Technologies. After that deal, Avago renamed itself Broadcom and established joint headquarters in Singapore and San Jose.
In many ways, what Broadcom refers to as a plan to “redomicile” to the U.S. is a largely symbolic move. The company hasn’t said how many executives or what, if any, operations may be shifted. But it emphasized that it believes the change should eliminate any fears around national security.
“In short, U.S. national security concerns are not a risk to closing, as Broadcom never plans to acquire Qualcomm before it completes redomiciliation,” the company said.
Whether that does actually satisfy the CFIUS remains to be seen. Meanwhile, amid delays in reaching a deal, rumors have emerged that rival Intel is considering making a bid for Broadcom.
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