Qualcomm has rejected Broadcom's $100B+ buyout bid

Broadcom

USA chipmaker Qualcomm Inc is making preparations to reject rival Broadcom Ltd's $103 billion bid as early as this week, four people familiar with the matter said on Sunday, setting the stage for one of the biggest-ever takeover battles.

This comes after the FT last week reported that Broadcom's current $70 per share offer was far from anything Qualcomm's board would consider seriously, with the firm viewing the bid as "opportunistic" because of the fact that it's price has recently fallen due to its ongoing legal skirmish with Apple.

Qualcomm also warned that such a merger would face significant regulatory hurdles. Broadcom isn't quite done with its offer yet though, currently, the company is looking to meet with Qualcomm's board to make another offer.

For now, Broadcom said it remains " fully committed" to going ahead with the purchase.

"It is the Board's unanimous belief that Broadcom's proposal significantly undervalues Qualcomm relative to the company's leadership position in mobile technology and our future growth prospects", said Paul Jacobs, executive chairman of Qualcomm.

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Qualcomm said it would "assess the proposal in order to pursue the course of action that is in the best interests of Qualcomm shareholders".

He continued: "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". Today's Broadcom is the product of a $37 billion combination in 2016 between Avago, a Singapore-based company that was once part of a former unit of pioneering PC maker Hewlett-Packard, and Broadcom, another company with origins in Southern California which made chips for tablets, smartphones and other telecom and cable applications.

"Qualcomm shareholders are likely to hold out for more, but we believe something in the US$80-ish range is likely enough to bring a lot of them around", Sanford C. Bernstein analyst Stacy Rasgon wrote in a note published at the weekend.

Chief executive Steve Mollenkopf added that Qualcomm's achievements to date have offered significant value to stockholders. However, it seems that Qualcomm is not interested in selling, with reports this week saying that Qualcomm's board of directors has officially rejected the offer. A statement release by Qualcomm said that the board had "unanimously rejected the unsolicited proposal announced by Broadcom".

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