Qualcomm has accused Broadcom of “misleading” its shareholders, as the negotiations between the two companies about a takeover again descended into a war of words.
The chipmaker yesterday (26 February) submitted new proposals to Broadcom which included beginning private discussions over price and protections for Qualcomm shareholders against regulation potentially torpedoing the deal, including compensation.
This prompted comments by Broadcom that Qualcomm was “feigning engagement”, claiming it believed the latter’s “disingenuous” proposals were designed to appease shareholders but not reach a real agreement. It also accused Qualcomm of considering a move of its annual general meeting, planned for 6 March and when Broadcom is hoping its nominated candidates will be elected to the Board of Directors.
Qualcomm quickly hit back, saying the prospective buyer was trying to give “a false impression” about its level of engagement.
It said it had repeatedly attempted to engage with its suitor on issues such as price, including at meetings on 14 and 23 February and said the statement that it was considering moving its annual meeting was false.
Its board retained the conviction that both the former offer of $82 per share and the current offer of $79 per share, revised down after Qualcomm agreed to pay more in its buy-out of NXP Semiconductors, “materially undervalued” the company, it added. The company has also cited concerns about the uncertain path to regulatory approvals.
The back and forth over a potential takeover has continued to overshadow a welter of Qualcomm product launches and trials in recent weeks and days. At Mobile World Congress this week, it announced new chipsets with Wi-Fi and cellular connectivity as well as the results of 5G trials it has conducted in Europe and the US.