Qualcomm annual meeting postponed for national security review

Broadcom return to US could be complete in May

Qualcomm's shareholder vote will now be delayed at least a month as the Committee on Foreign Investment in the USA investigates Broadcom's proposed deal.

In a statement to shareholders dated last Thursday, Qualcomm reiterated its opposition to Broadcom's $79 per share offer and urged shareholders to vote to re-elect all 11 existing Qualcomm directors.

Qualcomm and Broadcom were not immediately available for comment.

It is seeking to elect six nominees to Qualcomm's board of directors at the annual meeting, which had been scheduled for Tuesday.

It said: "Broadcom was informed on Sunday night that on January 29, 2018, Qualcomm secretly filed a voluntary request with CFIUS to initiate an investigation, resulting in a delay of Qualcomm's Annual Meeting 48 hours before it was to take place". The company already is run from the United States, has many US employees, and owns critical semiconductor operations and technologies, Rasgon noted.

Based on a count of more than half of the votes already cast, Broadcom would win a majority of Qualcomm's board seats, according to information obtained by Bloomberg.

"It should be clear to everyone that this is part of an unprecedented effort by Qualcomm to disenfranchise its own stockholders", Broadcom said in a statement.

Qualcomm is known for mobile chip innovations that set industry standards, for example in new superfast 5G wireless connection technology, the analyst noted.

"Broadcom's dismissive rhetoric notwithstanding, this is a very serious matter for both Qualcomm and Broadcom", the United States chipmaker said.

Buying Qualcomm would make Broadcom the third-largest chip maker, behind Intel Corp. and Samsung Electronics Co. Broadcom "expects to complete its redomiciliation process to the U.S.by May 6, at which point the proposed acquisition will not be a CFIUS covered transaction", Zino wrote in a report on Monday.

Qualcomm, which is trying to convince shareholders it is open to the merger at the right price and terms, said last week it had no intention of delaying the annual shareholder meeting.

The government committee, which reviews foreign acquisitions of US assets with an eye toward national-security interests, is led by the Treasury Department and includes officials from the departments of Justice, Defense, Homeland Security and Energy. An increasingly disbelieving world has since been subjected to the offer being raised and then dropped again following Qualcomm's acquisition of Dutch chipmaker, NXP. Scott Peters, D-San Diego, and Duncan Hunter, R-Alpine, had called for a review of the deal, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported. Qualcomm said it would challenge that fine. Nonetheless, regulators, who were asked to look at the deal by Qualcomm, pushed for a delay.

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