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A song of chips and circuits: The Qualcomm – Broadcom saga

Mergers are often like a game of chess. Both sides need to measure each move and plan the counters. And it appears Qualcomm is close to a making a checkmate on Broadcom. Or is it?

By raising its bid to buy its Dutch rival NXP Semiconductors by 16%, Qualcomm has dropped a Knight in Broadcom’s boardroom. The unprecedented counter comes as Broadcom was attempting a hostile $121 billion takeover of Qualcomm.  When Broadcom originally offered to acquire Qualcomm, one of its clauses was that the chipmaker close the NXP deal at the already fixed rate of $110 a share in cash. Clearly, Qualcomm wasn’t interested.

But Broadcom isn’t giving up easily either. Without taking much time, as a response to the possible Qualcomm-NXP deal, Broadcom has further lowered its bid, rather than quitting. Broadcom has revised its price and now offer Qualcomm $79 per share, down from its earlier price of $82 per share. The other terms of the deal, including the $8 billion regulatory reverse termination fee, remain unchanged. Broadcom has added that it is willing to revert to its original price of $82 per share, if the Qualcomm NXP deal fails.

Broadcom has revised its price and now offer Qualcomm $79 per share, down from its earlier price of $82 per share.

Qualcomm has consistently put down Broadcom’s hostile attempt to take over the company. The game is getting more interesting.

NXP is the winner, or is it?

According to the revised tender offer, Qualcomm has increased the purchase price from $110 to $127.50 per share, and the minimum tender condition was lowered from 80% to 70%. The deal currently awaits a clearance from China’s MOFCOM. Once done, this acquisition will help Qualcomm grow in certain key areas such as Internet of Things.

Another challenge ahead for Qualcomm is the upcoming annual meeting that will be held of March 6. All eyes will be fixed on that event, as Broadcom has put forward six nominees to replace a majority of Qualcomm’s 11 member board. And if this doesn’t fall in favor of Broadcom, the company would probably withdraw from its bid.

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