Qualcomm-Broadcom Merger Talks Delayed Yet Again: Report

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Qualcomm and Broadcom's merger talks have been delayed yet again after the latter's CEO Hock Tan said he's "astonished" the chipmaker wasn't willing to meet with its unsolicited suitor before Tuesday. Following scheduling disagreements that aren't commonly seen at such a high level of dealmaking, the two parties will finally discuss Broadcom's bid on Wednesday, Reuters reports, citing sources with knowledge of the plan. The meeting will mark the first occasion on which Qualcomm and Broadcom's representatives will get together to hold talks on the matter, though the approached party still insists that its willingness to listen to Broadcom explain its plan isn't indicative of an ambition to go through with any kind of a tie-up with the Singapore-based semiconductor manufacturer.

Broadcom upped its initial bid for Qualcomm by 24-percent last week, offering approximately $121 billion for the company, hence proposing by far the largest merger in the history of the technology industry. Qualcomm's board unanimously rejected the offer, citing major regulatory concerns and claiming that even the revised bid massively undervalues the firm and its assets. Broadcom remains adamant that it could wrap up the consolidation within 12 months of agreeing on it and will attempt to convince Qualcomm's board that such a scenario is plausible later this week. Qualcomm is presently in the process of trying to wrap up a significantly smaller takeover of Dutch NXP Semiconductors valued at $38 billion, having delayed its deadline for the completion of the deal on numerous occasions in the last 16 months and still being without regulatory approval from China's antitrust watchdog. Some industry analysts believe the firm's inability to complete the deal in a timelier manner is what prompted Broadcom to attempt a hostile takeover in the first place, with the company possibly sensing corporate weakness in Qualcomm's ranks.

Mr. Tan already oversaw more than $380 billion worth of consolidations in the tech industry but is expected to face the toughest audience in his career on Wednesday. Even if Qualcomm is convinced of the merger's plausibility, the issue of the price still remains, and Mr. Tan's track record with M&As isn't indicative of another significantly increased bid being a realistic development. Broadcom is still trying to overthrow Qualcomm's board at the chipmaker's annual shareholder meeting scheduled to take place on March 6. Both parties will be talking with advisory firms Glass Lewis and ISS in the run-up to their meeting in order to try to convince them to back their directorial nominees next month.

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