Qualcomm board rejects Broadcom bid

Largest ever tech takeover 'significantly undervalues' chipmaker

Broadcom also said its proposal stands regardless of whether Qualcomm's pending acquisition of NXP closes under its current terms or is nixed.

"Qualcomm's "thanks, but no thanks" response to the unsolicited bid by Broadcom isn't surprising and we would be surprised if at this point, Broadcom didn't move forward with a proxy fight", Loop Capital analyst Betsy Van Hees told Reuters. But whether Broadcom is willing to make an offer Qualcomm can't refuse still isn't clear.

Qualcomm announced late last night that its board of directors had "unanimously rejected" Broadcom's record-breaking offer, having agreed that the $70 per share bid "dramatically undervalues Qualcomm" and "comes with significant regulatory uncertainty". And though Qualcomm is in the midst of a legal dispute with Apple, the company still believes its overall value is higher than what Broadcom was offering.

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The original approach came on November 6, when Broadcom offered $70 per share for Qualcomm. The company plans to reach out to the company's board and management, and that it has received positive feedback from key customers and shareholders. "We are confident in our ability to create significant additional value for our stockholders as we continue our growth in these attractive segments and lead the transition to 5G", added Steve Mollenkopf, CEO of the firm.

Importantly, Broadcom didn't immediately up its bid for the competitor, and it isn't at all clear that Qualcomm is interested in satisfying Tan's "strong preference" of engaging cooperatively.

This is just a minor hiccup for Broadcom, which is expecting to now escalate a proxy battle by appealing directly to Qualcomm shareholders.

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If Broadcom makes a hostile bid, Qualcomm's governance rules would allow the rival to submit its own slate for the entire 11-member board by the December 8 nomination deadline.

With a range of potential strategies available, it seems the one tactic Broadcom isn't trying-at least for now-is simply walking away from a deal.

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