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Qualcomm to Broadcom: $160 billion might do it

Financial Times reports that Qualcomm would consider a bid from Broadcom to the tune of $160 billion, about $55 billion more than the original bid.

Published onFebruary 26, 2018

  • The Financial Times reports Qualcomm would consider a bid from Broadcom for $160 billion.
  • This hypothetical bid is $55 billion more than Broadcom’s initial bid for the chip maker.
  • If this deal goes through, it would be the third-largest deal in business history.

The ongoing drama of Broadcom’s attempt at a hostile takeover of Qualcomm just keeps getting crazier. According to Financial Times (via The Verge), Qualcomm just admitted it would consider selling to Broadcom if offered $160 billion (including $25 billion in assumed debt) for the buy.

Broadcom’s original bid for Qualcomm was about $105 billion. After Qualcomm rejected the bid, Broadcom tried again with $121 billion. That was also dismissed. In both cases, Qualcomm criticized the offers as “significantly undervaluing” Qualcomm’s business.

Now, Qualcomm has put an end to the charade by giving a hard number of $160 billion. The question now is if Broadcom makes a bid that high (questionable in itself), will Qualcomm accept? At this point, we’d half-expect Qualcomm to get the bid and reject it with little more than a “It was just a prank, bro.”

Broadcom reportedly thinking about buying Qualcomm for $100 billion

If Qualcomm had accepted Broadcom’s original $105 billion bid, it would have been the largest pure tech deal in history. If Broadcom offers $160 billion and Qualcomm accepts, it would not only be the largest tech acquisition, but the third-largest acquisition of any kind in business history, just behind America Online buying Time Warner ($162 billion) and Vodafone merging with Mannesmann ($180 billion). The current largest pure tech deal of all time is Dell’s purchase of EMC for $67 billion.

Broadcom wants Qualcomm for its chipset business. While Broadcom has a diverse portfolio of various electronic industry items, Qualcomm’s major moneymaker is its Snapdragon chipsets, which power most flagship mobile devices. With the imminent rollout of 5G, Qualcomm is poised to benefit significantly, while Broadcom will only benefit slightly.

If the two companies merge, the new mega-company would be the third-largest chip manufacturer, behind Intel and Samsung.

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