US Security Panel Delays Broadcom-Qualcomm Merger Showdown


Broadcom return to US could be complete in May

"The CFIUS issued an interim order to Qualcomm directing it to postpone its annual stockholders meeting and election of directors by 30 days", said a spokesperson from the U.S. Department of the Treasury, which chairs the interagency regulatory committee.

Broadcom Ltd. is on course to win all six of the seats it's seeking on Qualcomm Inc.'s board, giving it a majority to push forward with its hostile takeover even as a US government panel forced a delay of the final tally amid concerns about the deal's threats to national security. The national security body ordered Qualcomm to delay its shareholder meeting by a month so it could review the deal.

Photo Qualcomm's headquarters in La Jolla, Calif. Broadcom, which is attempting a hostile takeover of the chip maker, said it had been informed Sunday night that Qualcomm had asked regulators to review the bid in January.

Broadcom is seeking to elect six nominees to Qualcomm's board of directors at the annual meeting, which had been scheduled for Tuesday.

Broadcom return to US could be complete in May

Broadcom said in November that it would return to the United States but did not say when the move would happen.

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Broadcom on Monday said Qualcomm did not talk about submitting a voluntary notice to CFIUS in any of its interactions, including in the two meetings on February 14 and February 23.

Broadcom is largely owned by the same United States institutional investors that own Qualcomm. "This brings Qualcomm's "engagement theater" to a new low".

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An increasing number of devices rely on the semiconductors developed by companies like Qualcomm and Broadcom, with chip sales totaling more than $410 billion past year alone. Once this all blows over, Qualcomm's shareholder meeting will be rescheduled to take place on or before the 6th of May.

The government committee, which reviews foreign acquisitions of USA assets with an eye toward national-security interests, is led by the Treasury Department and includes officials from the departments of Justice, Defense, Homeland Security and Energy.

Qualcomm is the largest US tech companies and one of the few that manufactures semiconductors, making it a rival to Chinese company Huawei Technologies. According to the NYT, the company "argued that its status as a soon-to-be American company means the deal should not be subject to review".

Qualcomm went on to challenge an assertion that wasn't exactly what Broadcom had asserted.

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Qualcomm's shares fell 4 percent in trading before the bell.

Qualcomm reacted with its own statement, saying that Broadcom had already filed documents with CFIUS twice in the past several weeks and should not be surprised about the order.

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