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How very dare you, Qualcomm snarls at Broadcom's board bid

Mickey-taking Singapore biz turns takeover battle hostile

Qualcomm is outraged – outraged, we tell you – by Broadcom's cheeky efforts to take over its board at the company's upcoming AGM.

Broadcom, Qualcomm's Singapore-headquartered chip-making rival, had nominated a slate of candidates to replace the target company's current board of directors at Qualcomm's AGM on 6 March next year.

Broadcom, backed by equity fund Silver Lake, put forward 11 men and two women to replace Qualcomm's current gros fromages, who include former HP exec veep Ann Livermore.

"Broadcom and Silver Lake are effectively asking stockholders to foreclose options and make a decision now on a non-binding proposed transaction which could not be completed for well over a year, if ever, given the magnitude of regulatory issues, the absence of commitments by Broadcom to resolve those issues, Broadcom's lack of committed financing, and the uncertainty surrounding its transition from Singapore to the United States," said a highly indignant Qualcomm.

Hock Tan, chief exec of Broadcom, fired back: "We have heard from many Qualcomm stockholders who have expressed their desire for Qualcomm to engage with us. We also continue to receive positive feedback from customers and, having had initial meetings with certain relevant antitrust authorities, remain confident that any regulatory requirements necessary to complete a combination will be met in a timely manner."

Broadcom's board nominees for Qualcomm comprises a slate of former chief execs and investment types, including Samih Elhage, the former prez of Nokia's mobile networks division, and Gregorio Reyes, one-time chairman of the board of Dialog Semiconductor plc, which is another Apple supplier.

A fortnight ago Qualcomm rejected Broadcom's $103bn takeover bid, saying it "significantly undervalued" the business.

Both firms specialise in making system-on-chip processors. A merger would see the consolidated company controlling a large portion of the world's silicon supply. ®

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