Broadcom raises white flag in four month Qualcomm battle after Trump intervention

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Broadcom has formally withdrawn its hostile takeover bid for Qualcomm after US President Donald Trump intervened to nix the deal.

The chipmaker said it was “disappointed” with the outcome but would comply with the White House order to terminate its acquisition efforts, including withdrawing its nominees from Qualcomm’s board.

However, Broadcom will continue with its recently announced plans to redomicile to the US, which it brought forward in an effort to smooth the path to regulatory approval of the bid.

Its statement thanked shareholders of Broadcom and Qualcomm who had been supportive of the acquisition, but noticeably declined to mention the latter’s board, which had been consistently opposed to it and claiming it undervalued the company.

Broadcom also cited a statement from US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on 12 March which said the government’s decision was “not intended to make any other statement about Broadcom or its employees, including its thousands of hard working and highly skilled US employees".

The announcement, signalling the final collapse of the deal, followed President Trump saying there was evidence that the Singapore-headquartered Broadcom “might take action that threatens to impair the national security of the United States”.

Saying there were no provisions in US law to protect security in the event of a take-over, he said that the transaction or any equivalent one would be prohibited.

The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States had also been investigating the bid over concerns that Broadcom would not support Qualcomm financially in its R&D for 5G.

Trump’s involvement comes after months of wrangling between the two companies after the unsolicited offer was first made in November.