Qualcomm's board unanimously votes down Broadcom buyout offer

Broadcom CEO Hock Tan on 6 November offered $70 a share in cash and stock for Qualcomm

USA chipmaker Qualcomm Inc (QCOM.O) is making preparations to reject rival Broadcom Ltd's (AVGO.O) $103 billion bid as early as this week, four people familiar with the matter said on Sunday, setting the stage for one of the biggest-ever takeover battles.

Qualcomm's board of directors has unanimously voted to reject an acquisition offer from rival chipmaker Broadcom.

Broadcom offered $60 for every outstanding share of Qualcomm, plus an additional $10 in Broadcom stock.

"It is the board's unanimous belief that Broadcom's proposal significantly undervalues Qualcomm relative to the company's leadership position in mobile technology and our future growth prospects", said Paul Jacobs, executive chairman and chairman of the board, in a statement. At the time, Bloomberg sources claimed that Qualcomm's board would likely reject the deal. But Qualcomm is understood to view it as an opportunistic swoop, coming as the company is under threat from regulatory lawsuits and locked in a spat with Apple. The board of directors believes the proposal is not in the best interest of Qualcomm and also undervalues the company. Qualcomm and Broadcom did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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"We are well-advised and know what our options are, and we have not eliminated any of those options", Broadcom Chief Executive Hock Tan told Reuters last week.

Qualcomm's shares have been weighed down by its legal battle with Apple over patent royalties, fines from antitrust regulators and slow progress on its planned $38 billion acquisition of NXP Semiconductors. The $105 billion bid does sound a lot but bear in mind that Nvidia's market cap is about $130 billion dollars, a product of great stock performance, but honestly, Qualcomm's portfolio seems broader and shows more potential on the long run.

Broadcom has indicated it is willing to buy Qualcomm irrespective of whether it closes the NXP deal.

Broadcom shares are now up 0.3% on the day; Qualcomm is up 1.8%, at session highs.

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