American telecommunications equipment company, Qualcomm Inc., is preparing to discard its competitor’s, Broadcom Ltd., $103 billion offer as soon as this week, according to people familiar with the matter said on Sunday, paving the way to one of the biggest buyout battles.
The source said Qualcomm’s board of directors could huddle up on Sunday to examine the unsolicited acquisition bid and think of its strategy. The board meeting’s preparations show that Qualcomm is set to reject the bid as inadequate as early as Monday, although it may extend to a few more days to ready its full response to Broadcom, the sources added.
Steven Mollenkopf, Qualcomm Chief Executive, has been gathering feedback from the company’s shareholders and finds Broadcom’s $70-per-share offer is low-price, thus, it undervalues the company and does not price in the indecision associated with getting the bid approved by the regulators, the sources said.
On the other hand, Hock Tan, Broadcom CEO who said earlier this month he would revive his company’s presence in the United States from Singapore, said he is open to initiating a takeover battle. According to sources, the company was gearing up to submit a schedule of directors by Qualcomm’s December 8 nomination deadline. That would permit Qualcomm shareholders to vote to change the company’s board and force it to engage with Broadcom.
The sources said that Broadcom has also been considering the likelihood of increasing its bid for Qualcomm, including through more debt financing. Although it remains unclear the time Broadcom would decide to execute such move.
Both semiconductor companies did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Qualcomm delivers chips to carrier networks to provide broadband and mobile data. It is involved in a patent infringement clash with Apple Inc. and is also raising efforts to close its $38 billion acquisition of automotive chipmaker NXP Semiconductors NV after ratifying a deal in October 2016. Broadcom has shown its willingness to buy Qualcomm regardless of whether it closes the NXP deal.
NXP shares have been trading above Qualcomm’s bid price, as many NXP shareholders, including hedge fund Elliott Management Corp., have been holding out for a better price. Qualcomm does not plan to considerably increase its price for NXP as a defensive strategy to make its acquisition by Broadcom more costly, one of the sourced said.
On Friday, Qualcomm shares concluded at $64.57, while Broadcom finished at $264.96.
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