Qualcomm Bid: Shareholder Meeting Postponed

Qualcomm Bid: Shareholder Meeting Postponed

Qualcomm has maintained from the beginning that the Broadcom deal, originally valued at $121 billion, undervalues the company. "Broadcom was informed on Sunday night that on January 29, 2018, Qualcomm secretly filed a voluntary request with CFIUS to initiate an investigation, resulting in a delay of Qualcomm's annual meeting 48 hours before it was to take place", said Broadcom in a statement this morning.

The government's national security merger review body, called the Committee on Foreign Investment in the US, asked Qualcomm to delay its scheduled shareholder elections this week so the committee could continue reviewing the possible merger.

CFIUS views Qualcomm as a prized US asset in the development of 5G wireless technology, which allows for the transmission of data at very fast speeds.

"The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States [CFIUS] issued an interim order to Qualcomm directing it to postpone its annual stockholders meeting and election of directors by 30 days", said the U.S. Department of Treasury.

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"Upon completion of the redomiciliation, Broadcom's proposed acquisition of Qualcomm will not be a CFIUS covered transaction", they wrote, adding that Broadcom's board of directors and senior management team comprise mostly American citizens. For its part, Qualcomm thinks that Broadcom's accounting of events is implausible, as it claims its suitor has been in contact with the CFIUS "for weeks" and has made two "written submissions" to the body.

Broadcom said on Monday it is run by a board and senior management team consisting nearly entirely of Americans and is largely owned by the same USA institutional investors that own Qualcomm.

At issue for CFIUS is the fact that Broadcom, based in Singapore, is attempting to acquire the USA -based Qualcomm. Qualcomm has so far resisted the unsolicited bid as too low and fraught with regulatory challenges.

Qualcomm did not deny seeking a committee review but accused Broadcom of using misleading rhetoric "to trivialize and ignore serious regulatory and national security issues". "This measure will afford CFIUS the ability to investigate fully Broadcom's proposed acquisition of Qualcomm".

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The panel, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, or CFIUS, typically works behind closed doors and reviews deals only after they are announced.

The national security review stems from Qualcomm's leadership of 5G wireless technology.

Prior to Gallagher's letter, Sen. Scott Peters, D-San Diego, and Duncan Hunter, R-Alpine, had called for a review of the deal, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.

A Reuters source "familiar with CFIUS' thinking" reports that as the race to 5G accelerates and Qualcomm continues to rank among the leaders, the San Diego-based chipset company is becoming an especially prized asset for the U.S. A combined Broadcom-Qualcomm would create the world's third-largest chip maker, behind Samsung and Intel.

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