President Donald Trump's extraordinary decision Monday to block Singapore-based Broadcom from pursuing a hostile takeover of San Diego-based Qualcomm because he sees the deal as a threat to US national security will be cheered by the Qualcomm executives who opposed the bid and welcomed by the 13,000 local Qualcomm workers whose jobs may have been in jeopardy with a new owner. After months of a bitter proxy fight, President Trump brought the process to an abrupt halt through an Executive Order prohibiting the proposed takeover (or any substantially equivalent merger, acquisition or takeover by Broadcom). The directive stated that there is "credible evidence" that Broadcom "might take action that threatens to impair the national security of the United States" through the buyout.
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"Although we are disappointed with this outcome, Broadcom will comply with the Order", the Asian company said Wednesday. "It's very clear that 5G is important to the United States of America".
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Broadcom CEO Hock Tan had seized on Qualcomm's legal headaches in his attempt to persuade the USA government to keep the deal alive.
The decision, announced late Monday, abruptly ends Broadcom's four-month, $117 billion bid to buy Qualcomm - a deal that would have been the largest ever completed in the technology industry. But the steps against Broadcom weren't usual as the mergers are rarely killed before the shareholders of a publically traded company are given the opportunity for making a decision on the proposal for them.
The move by Trump was a rare intervention by a president, but under his administration, multiple deals have been quashed after a review by the panel, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, popularly known as CFIUS.
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"Broadcom thanks the independent nominees who stood for election to the Qualcomm board, not only for their time and effort but also for their unwavering commitment to act in the best interests of Qualcomm stockholders", the company said.
Meanwhile, Broadcom announced today that is has accelerated its timetable for redomiciling its organization from Singapore to the USA, moving up the date from May 6 to April 3. If Broadcom fails to get approval even after shifting the headquarters, then the company would possibly take the matter to court. At the time, US President Donald Trump called it "one of the really great, great companies". In September, Trump blocked a Chinese state-owned company from acquiring an American semiconductor firm.
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