March 23, 2018

Broadcom boss 'will beat Trump deal block'

14 March 2018, 08:31 | Kevin Scott

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Broadcom boss 'will beat Trump deal block'

Broadcom is no longer pursuing plans to buy Qualcomm after Trump issued an executive order blocking the $117 billion takeover proposal over fears the deal would "impair the national security of the United States".

Broadcom's hostile bid was being investigated by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, which said it would cause the USA to fall behind on the development of 5G technology and allow China to take the lead.

That could mean a significant reduction in spending on 5G research and development at Qualcomm, which totaled $5.5 billion in its most recent financial year.

Although its name isn't widely known outside the technology industry, San Diego-based Qualcomm is one of the world's leading makers of the processors that power many smartphones and other mobile devices.

Trump's successful move to kill the deal and CIFUS's intervention, however, doesn't just end Broadcom's bid to buy Qualcomm, but could also have a lasting effect on other American companies looking for global growth.

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In 1990, President George H.W. Bush ordered China National Aero-Technology Import and Export divest its stake in Mamco Manufacturing Co., an aerospace parts supplier based in the U.S. A Qualcomm acquisition would have amounted to the largest technology deal in history.

CFIUS, which raised concerns about the Qualcomm deal with Trump, listed the highly leveraged nature of Broadcom's bid for its larger rival as a major concern coupled with the risk of the USA losing mobile technology leadership. Lawmakers accused the company of having close links to Beijing, and said it posed a threat to USA national security. Analyst B. Riley cites Mellanox as a possible acquisition, although adds that the Israeli company might be too small. Mr Tan has already turned Avago, a small chipmaker with a market value of $3.5bn in 2009, into a more than $100bn company.

Broadcom had meant to move its official headquarters to the U.S., thereby reducing the amount of oversight necessary to make the deal work.

"We'll have to see if management change is in the offing - it looks like investor confidence in management is low", said Stacy Rasgon, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein. (AVGO ) announced Wednesday it has withdrawn and terminated its hostile offer to acquire Qualcomm Inc.

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