Chipmaker Broadcom plans unsolicited bid for Qualcomm

Posted November 04, 2017

Semiconductor giant Broadcom is exploring a possible acquisition of $80 billion Qualcomm, according to a Bloomberg News report citing people familiar with the matter.

Share value in Qualcomm is up almost 14 percent on the news.

According to Bloomberg, the offer would be roughly $70 a share in cash and stock that could top $100 billion - though a final decision on the whether to make the bid has not been made. Broadcom shares rose nearly 5 percent, for a market cap of $111 billion. Broadcom, created in 2016 when Avago Technologies Ltd. acquired Broadcom Corp. for $37 billion, has built itself from a former Hewlett Packard division into one of the largest chipmakers via a string of purchases. Broadcom announced yesterday its intention to move corporate headquarters back to the U.S.to take advantage of the lower tax rates expected.

Qualcomm faces a multinational legal battle with Apple Inc over Qualcomm's licensing terms to Apple.

- Shares in Broadcom, which makes semiconductors for networking and wireless equipment, were up almost 5 percent in afternoon trading on the Nasdaq.

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Five years ago, when smartphone demand was soaring, Qualcomm briefly overtook Intel in market value.

Qualcomm, an early pioneer in mobile phone chips, supplies so-called modem chips to phone makers such as Apple, Samsung and LG that help the phones connect to wireless data networks.

Qualcomm and Apple have been embroiled in a dispute over royalties that has landed the two corporations in court.

It's also unclear what such a deal would mean for Qualcomm's current bid of almost $40 billion to purchase NXP Semiconductors, a deal that's facing stiff regulatory reviews in Europe and opposition from some investors who contend the bid undervalues NXP. The deal is facing regulatory scrutiny in Europe and opposition from some shareholders including activist hedge fund firm Elliott Management Corp., which has argued the offer undervalues NXP.