Qualcomm up after rumor of Broadcom interest

Posted November 04, 2017

- Broadcom is considering making a takeover offer for Qualcomm that would value the chipmaker at more than $100 billion, Bloomberg reported on November 3, citing people familiar with the matter.

Broadcom is speaking to advisers and the offer of about $70 (53.57 pounds) a share would include cash and stock, Bloomberg reported earlier, citing people familiar with the matter.

The semiconductor firm has a long history in the industry and a tradition of not staying too attached to one particular name, and with Avago presumably adopting Broadcom's moniker due to the latter having a more established name, a potential tie-up with Qualcomm could also see Qualcomm's name live on.

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Shares of Qualcomm (Nasdaq: QCOM) were up about 14% to a $93 billion market cap following the announcement; Broadcom (Nasdaq: AVGO) was up about 5% to a $110 billion market cap.

The saga kicked off almost a year ago, in January 2017, when Apple first filed a lawsuit against Qualcomm for allegedly abusing its market position to extract more money from hardware manufacturers. Broadcom now lists Singapore and San Jose as co-headquarters.

Both Broadcom and Qualcomm have pending deals that could be affected by a merger.

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Broadcom was created a year ago when Tan's Avago Technologies Ltd. bought Irvine-based chipmaker Broadcom Corp. for $37 billion and then adopted the Broadcom name for the combined company.

At issue are the licensing fees that Qualcomm charges for patents that cover the basics of how mobile phone systems work.

Its competitor Qualcomm finds itself in a weakened state. Qualcomm's shares soared 12.71% on the rumor, or $6.97, to $61.81. Regulators are still reviewing Qualcomm's $38.1 billion proposed acquisition of NXP Semiconductors for $38.1 billion. The two companies are already among the top ten providers of chips ranked by revenue in an industry that's consolidating rapidly.

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