Qualcomm says former chairman exploring buyout option after hostile takeover bid blocked

Former Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs. (REUTERS)
Updated 17 March 2018
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Qualcomm says former chairman exploring buyout option after hostile takeover bid blocked

SAN FRANCISCO: Qualcomm said on Friday that Paul Jacbos, its chairman until a week ago, was considering a buyout effort for the California chipmaking giant just days after it fended off a hostile bid from Singapore rival Broadcom.
Jacobs, who had been chief executive at Qualcomm for a decade and executive chairman until March 9, will not be renominated to its board at its annual meeting next Friday, the company said.
The board made a decision not to renominate Jacobs “following his notification to the board that he has decided to explore the possibility of making a proposal to acquire Qualcomm.”
As a result, the number of board members will be reduced from 11 to 10 as of the holding of the annual meeting.
The statement said that if Jacobs does make a bid, “the board will of course evaluate it consistent with its fiduciary duties to shareholders.”
The announcement comes after reports that Jacobs has sought to raise capital for a Qualcomm bid, and had approached Japanese tech giant SoftBank, which is in the midst of a major investment spree in the sector.
Jacobs is the son of Qualcomm co-founder Irwin Jacobs and was CEO at the San Diego firm from 2005 to 2014.
Last week, he was replaced as chairman by Jeffrey Henderson, who will be non-executive chairman at Qualcomm, the leading maker of chips for smartphones.
The news comes days after US President Donald Trump blocked a $117 billion hostile bid from Broadcom, citing national security reasons.
US officials had maintained that Broadcom would have curbed innovation at the US chip giant and opened the door to Chinese firms to dominate the process for 5G, or fifth-generation wireless networks.
Qualcomm’s market value is around $90 billion, and is seen as an important player in the 5G race, but it has been hampered by antitrust actions around the world and litigation with Apple over claims that the chipmaker abused its dominance in the sector.
Qualcomm is also in the process of trying to close a takeover of Dutch chip rival NXP.
The board statement said that Qualcomm is now “focused on executing its business plan and maximizing value for shareholders as an independent company.”
It added that Jacobs “has been a valued employee and director of Qualcomm since 1990” and that “he has been one of the great innovators in our industry.”


Trump threatens tariffs on all $505 billion of Chinese imports

Updated 53 min 12 sec ago
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Trump threatens tariffs on all $505 billion of Chinese imports

WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump said in an interview released Friday he is willing to hit all Chinese goods imported to the US with tariffs if necessary.
“I’m ready to go 500,” the Republican leader told the US network CNBC, referring to the $505.5 billion in Chinese imports accepted into the US in 2017.
“I’m not doing this for politics, I’m doing this to do the right thing for our country,” Trump said.
“We’ve been ripped off by China for a long time,” he added.
After weeks of apparently fruitless negotiations, the US early this month imposed 25 percent tariffs on approximately $34 billion of Chinese mechanical and technological products — sparking an immediate response from Beijing, which said it would hit back dollar for dollar.
China accused the US of starting the “largest trade war in economic history.”
A second tranche of $16 billion in products is under review and could soon be added to the US measures.
In the full interview released Friday Trump reiterated his claim that the US is “being taken advantage of” on issues including trade policy.
“I don’t want them to be scared. I want them to do well,” the US president said of China. “I really like President Xi a lot. But it was very unfair.”
The US-China spat is the largest and broadest of several trade fights picked by Trump.
The growing share of international trade under threat has raised the prospect the escalating trade war could harm the global economy by disrupting companies supply chains, pushing firms to hold off on investments and making goods more expensive for consumers.
In excerpts of the interview released on Thursday Trump had broken with the long-established executive branch practice of not commenting on the Federal Reserve’s decisions out of respect for its independence.
“I’m not thrilled,” Trump told the network in an interview excerpt aired Thursday. “Because we go up and every time you go up they want to raise rates again.”