Before reports of Broadcom's $70-a-share offer in November, Qualcomm's stock had been trading at less than $55, partly because of worries its earnings would continue to be hurt by customers such as Apple refusing to pay. But the board is open to meeting with Broadcom leaders in a commitment "to exploring all options for maximizing shareholder value". Qualcomm shareholders are scheduled to vote on the nominations on March 6.
"The executive and Broadcom as a whole have aggressively pursued a potential deal, and while the letter states that "$82 per Qualcomm share is our best and final offer", both companies may have to compromise for a potential deal to be secured - should this reflect shareholder wishes. On the contrary, Broadcom's CEO, Tan, said that it is surprising that Qualcomm is not prepared to meet until Tuesday and confirmed that Broadcom's proposal incorporates an $8 billion regulatory reverse termination remuneration.
Once more, Qualcomm turned its nose up at the figure, saying the deal still "materially undervalued" the company.
The move comes three days after Broadcom boosted its offer to $82 a share to create a global giant in the chip-making sector, a deal worth some $146 billion including assumed debt.
As for the market experts, Tan's accomplishments this far are likable. Stock of his company - formerly called Avago Technologies - ended 2009 at US$18.29. It's now trading at more than $229. The greatest concern centres around Qualcomm's lucrative technology-licensing business.
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Qualcomm's contention that the chipmaker's future is brighter as a standalone company has become a tougher sell, given the multiple challenges that have cropped up in the past two years. The company has said that it will win all the cases against it in court and overturn more than $4 bullion that it has been fined with.
Broadcom's takeover attempt is complicated further by Qualcomm's pending acquisition of NXP Semiconductors, meant to give Qualcomm broader access to new markets.
In the letter, Qualcomm board said it is seeking clarity on whether Tan would be willing to up the price.
"If Qualcomm entered into a merger agreement and, after an extended regulatory review period the transaction did not close, Qualcomm would be enormously and irreparably damaged", Jacobs wrote. Jacobs said. The letter said the bid "ascribes no value" to NXP or to Qualcomm's plans to roll out new devices for the fifth generation of wireless networks known as 5G.
Qualcomm, which has locked horns with Apple over patent licensing practices, sells both chips and charge a patent royalty for nearly all smartphones sold globally.
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