Qualcomm leaves door ajar to Broadcom as takeover flirtation continues

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Qualcomm has rejected Broadcom's latest takeover attempt but left the door open to future bids if they reflect what it sees as the true value of the company.

The two companies met last week to discuss Broadcom's $146 billion bid with both parties initially silent on the outcome.

Qualcomm finally responded on Friday in a letter to Broadcom CEO Hock Tan, reiterating its belief that the offer of $82 per share "materially undervalue[d]" the company and also represented an "unacceptably" high level of risk.

It said Broadcom continued to oppose efforts to placate international regulators in the event of a takeover, as well as remaining vague about what would happen to Qualcomm's licencing business.

This lack of clarity would make it difficult to determine what anti-trust remedies would be needed to smooth the passage of any takeover, it explained.

However, the letter also noted some thawing in Broadcom's position as well as its own. It said Broadcom would be willing to make some disposals to help the deal progress.

Chairman Paul Jacobs said in the letter: "While the current Broadcom proposal is unacceptable, our Board is intensely focused on maximising value for Qualcomm stockholders, whether through executing on its growth strategy or by selling the company.

"Our Board is open to further discussions with Broadcom to see if a proposal that appropriately reflects the true value of Qualcomm shares, and ensures an appropriate level of deal certainty, can be obtained."

Broadcom made what it described as its final offer to Qualcomm earlier this month. It is also pushing for a majority of its nominees to sit on Qualcomm's board, which will be determined at its AGM next month.