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Qualcomm in new move against Broadcom bid

By Cheng Yu | China Daily | Updated: 2018-02-22 08:53

A plant operated by Netherlands-based chipmaker NXP in Caen, northwestern France. [Photo/China Daily]

US semiconductor company Qualcomm Inc has announced it will raise its bid to acquire Dutch automotive chip maker NXP Semiconductors NV to $44 billion, which analysts see as a key step for the heavyweight to shore up support for the deal and fend off the hostile $121 billion bid from its rival Broadcom Ltd.

Under the new deal, Qualcomm will pay $127.50 for each NXP share, which will be 16 percent higher than the originally proposed price, and the minimum tender condition has been lowered from 80 percent of NXP's outstanding shares to 70 percent.

Xiang Ligang, a telecom veteran and CEO of industry website Cctime, said the new terms including the lowered threshold will make it easier for Qualcomm to complete the deal as the revised bid is likely to win over investors including Elliott Management, which had opposed Qualcomm's initial offer as too low.

"If the deal is completed, it will bolster Qualcomm's competitiveness as it is looking for NXP technology to broaden its product line beyond smartphones to automobiles and internet-connected devices, and strengthen its products for next-generation 5G," said Roger Sheng, research director at consultancy Gartner Inc. Qualcomm said that the acquisition will be "highly strategic and attractive".

"The acquisition of NXP will enable us to accelerate our growth strategy ... this is an attractive acquisition at this price for Qualcomm stockholders," said Tom Horton, presiding director of the Qualcomm Board of Directors.

More importantly, analysts pointed out that the new terms will put great pressure on its biggest rival Broadcom to decide whether it will stick to the original stipulation in its bid.

Earlier this month, Broadcom made a $121 billion "best and final offer" to acquire Qualcomm, but Qualcomm rejected the revised buyout suggesting it has "serious deficiencies in value and certainty".

"Building momentum on the NXP deal will strengthen Qualcomm's defenses to Broadcom as it allows its shareholders to better assess the standalone value of Qualcomm," added Xiang.

Right after the revised price, NXP shares rose 6 percent to $125.56, reflecting expectations among investors that there are increasing chances of Qualcomm repelling Broadcom.

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