Broadcom to Qualcomm: We’re coming for you

Broadcom to Qualcomm: We’re coming for you

Broadcom has been ratcheting up the pressure on shareholders of rival chipmaker Qualcomm this week — even as the landscape surrounding the hostile takeover becomes more tenuous.

Advisers for Singapore-based Broadcom told a Qualcomm shareholder that the company is accelerating its plans to re-domicile to the US, The Post has learned.

Broadcom’s stepped-up pressure comes as its $117 billion hostile bid for Qualcomm raised the eyebrows of the Treasury Department — which in a letter released on Tuesday said an acquisition of the maker of 5G chips by a foreign company could pose a “national security” risk.

On Sunday, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the US, or CFIUS, which is chaired by Treasury and reviews deals that have a national security risk, convinced Qualcomm to postpone a shareholder vote on Broadcom’s bid that was scheduled for March 6.

Broadcom, to get around a CFIUS review, had promised earlier to become a US company by mid-May. But in light of the heat this week from Washington, Broadcom is now aiming to be complete the move to the US in April.

As part of its hostile bid, Broadcom is looking to get six reps onto the Qualcomm board at its annual meeting.

Last week, Broadcom’s chief financial officer told a Qualcomm shareholder that it needed to vote for all six of Broadcom’s nominees. If Broadcom failed to win six seats, it would walk away from the deal, the CFO said, according to a source familiar with the conversation.

Reps from Broadcom did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Broadcom’s tactics are the latest intrigue in the saga between the rival chipmakers.

In its letter to both companies, Treasury turned up the heat on the deal.

“CFIUS has come to believe that Broadcom’s successful hostile takeover attempt of Qualcomm … could pose a risk to the national security of the United States,” Treasury said in the letter.

Qualcomm’s 5G chips are used by the Pentagon, and if it loses its competitive standing under the Broadcom umbrella, it could leave China’s Huawei as the dominant chipmaker, Reuters reported, citing a source familiar with CIFIUS’ thinking.

“China would likely compete robustly to fill any void left by Qualcomm as a result of this hostile takeover,” the letter said.

The tortured deal looked a lot brighter on Nov. 2.

On that day, Broadcom Chief Executive Hock Tan stood in the White House and pledged to bring jobs to the US — a move that won him praise from President Trump.

Four days later, Broadcom announced its Qualcomm bid.

Broadcom said Tuesday it is cooperating with CFIUS.

On Sunday, when CFIUS asked Qualcomm to postpone its shareholder meeting, Broadcom accused its rival of “secretly” asking CFIUS to investigate in order to stall the deal.

Qualcomm countered that the CFIUS inquiry was no surprise.

Qualcomm’s shareholder meeting is now scheduled for April 5.

Reps from Qualcomm did not immediately respond to requests to comment.

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