Wednesday, 18 July, 2018


US panel may ask Trump to block Broadcom's Qualcomm takeover effort

BEIJING CHINA Chinese policemen surf the Internet at a computer fair in Beijing 21 August 2000. China has recently arrested a high school teacher in the southwestern province of Sichuan for posting articles critical of the communist authorities on the GOH CHAI HIN AFP Getty Images
Conrad Doyle | 14 March, 2018, 04:37

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.

Broadcom's CEO, Hock Tan, is a US citizen, and the company said that it is "in all important respects a USA company".

The federal government is involved in the transaction because Qualcomm does sensitive work for the US, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Broadcom's journey in its attempt to acquire Qualcomm has taken some twists and turns, from the Snapdragon chipmaker declining a record-breaking buyout offer to possible delays in the acquisition due to fears of national security implications.

Separately, Qualcomm said it discontinued the role of executive chairman and named a new non-executive chairman as it seeks to curry favour with shareholders ahead of a proxy fight with Broadcom, now slated for 5 April.

Under Mr. Trump, several deals involving foreign buyers have been squelched after a Cfius review, including Moneygram's sale to an affiliate of the Alibaba Group and Lattice Semiconductor's sale to an investment firm with reported ties to the Chinese government.

Intel does not want the Broadcom-Qualcomm deal to happen. Broadcom has nominated six directors for election to Qualcomm's 11-member board as a way to force negotiations between the two companies. A few weeks after the Oval Office ceremony, Broadcom announced that it had completed the acquisition of Brocade on November 17.

For the past few months, Qualcomm has been trying to fend off Broadcom's unsolicited advances and has rejected multiple Broadcom bids, the most recent being for $121 billion, or $82 a share.

Broadcom's Qualcomm acquisition is far from guaranteed, however, with significant roadblocks in the way of the hostile takeover.

The letter was made public by Qualcomm on Monday.

Qualcomm has emerged as one of the biggest competitors to China's Huawei Technologies Co in the sector, making Qualcomm a prized asset. If Broadcom completes its corporate headquarter move, that could mean CFIUS would be unable to block the acquisition.

Broadcom said its executive team is composed entirely of US citizens and its top 20 shareholders are American entities.

The order cited "credible evidence" that led Trump to believe that Broadcom's taking control of Qualcomm "might take action that threatens to impair the national security of the United States". Tom Cotton said in a statement March 6.

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