While the largest deal in the history of technology continues to hit a number of speed bumps, we’re now getting into the phase of very strongly worded publicly issued statements between the two companies as we get closer and closer to the annual meeting of stockholders in early March.
Broadcom and Qualcomm — the former of which is trying to acquire the latter — are continuing to duke it out on their respective investor relations pages by issuing public statements to investors over how much drama there is over the pricing of this deal. Broadcom is looking to buy Qualcomm for $79 per share (actually down from $82, though that’s another story), making this a massive tech deal worth over $100 billion. And, naturally, they can’t agree — and it is definitely the other party’s fault.
Qualcomm rejected Broadcom’s $121 billion bid for the company earlier this month, and now appears to be trying to close its acquisition of NXP, another semiconductor company, as quickly as possible amid all this. But that hasn’t stopped the two companies from beginning to publicly issue strongly worded statements about how just how much of an absolute buzz kill the other company is. Let’s get to the strongly worded statements, starting with Broadcom, headline included:
Broadcom’s Attempts at Genuine Engagement Met with Qualcomm’s “Engagement Theater”
Broadcom has and will always welcome genuine engagement with Qualcomm. Broadcom does not believe that the process outlined by Qualcomm today is designed to lead to a prompt agreement. Qualcomm’s disingenuous process defers the question of price, even after Qualcomm’s Presiding Director Tom Horton last week publicly stated that the Qualcomm board views Broadcom’s proposed price as “not even close.”
Harsh! Here’s another part of it:
Broadcom stands ready to negotiate its proposal on a comprehensive basis on terms that are realistic for both parties and their respective stockholders, but has not yet found a counterparty prepared to do the same. If the current Qualcomm board remains unwilling to genuinely engage – and continues with “engagement theater” on this basis – Broadcom looks forward to negotiating in good faith with the newly-elected Qualcomm board following the Qualcomm annual meeting on March 6.
Woof! Now, on to Qualcomm’s response, headline included:
Qualcomm Calls on Broadcom to Stop Misleading Stockholders and to Negotiate in Good Faith
The latest statement issued by Broadcom is disingenuous and clearly intended to create a false impression about Qualcomm’s level of engagement. In fact, Qualcomm has repeatedly attempted to engage with Broadcom on issues including price, including at meetings on February 14 and February 23. In each of those meetings, Broadcom has refused to engage on price.
Earlier today, Qualcomm made a comprehensive proposal that addresses regulatory and other merger agreement issues in order to clear the way for a price discussion with Broadcom. The ball is in Broadcom’s court to let us know whether it is willing to engage with us. Qualcomm’s Board remains unanimous in its view that Broadcom’s current offer of $79.00 per share, as well as the previous offer of $82.00 per share, materially undervalues the company.
Broadcom’s statements about Qualcomm considering moving the date of its annual meeting are false. Qualcomm has no intention of delaying the annual meeting and made that clear to Broadcom during our February 23 meeting.
Goodness, let that one cool off first before serving.
The strongly worded statements sign off by calling on investors to basically support one side or the other, which as we approach the stockholder meeting, is going to actually determine what’s going to happen here. Broadcom’s aggressive move may be able to convince investors in the company to actually instigate some change, which does happen from time to time at larger public companies.
(Editor’s Note: TechCrunch is owned by Oath, a Verizon company, which also owns Yahoo, which most definitely had investors agitate for significant changes among shareholders.)
Anyway, grab some popcorn for some very high quality niche drama as we careen toward the date of Qualcomm’s annual stockholder meeting, which is scheduled to occur in just over a week.