Qualcomm takeover a national security risk, says US

Qualcomm shareholder meeting pushed forward by a month

Now, with Qualcomm using the CFIUS investigation as reason to push back the shareholder vote on the acquisition until at least April, Broadcom is launching its own charm offensive and pledging to pour money into the USA research and education fields with its $1.5bn fund promise.

Broadcom was forced to delay its annual shareholders meeting two days before it was due to take place after learning Qualcomm had requested the CFIUS investigation, according to CNET. But it now appears willing to continue to pursue its bid for Qualcomm through the CFIUS review, said Bernstein Research Analyst Stacy Rasgon in a research note.

Broadcom also took a swipe at Qualcomm's licensing business, which is a subject of dispute between the companies.

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Assuming its aim was to scupper Broadcom's hostile takeover, the Qualcomm board seems to have played a blinder in getting the CFIUS involved.

In a statement Wednesday, Broadcom said, "with its proven track record of investing in and growing core franchises, Broadcom is committed to making the US the global leader in 5G".

Singapore-based Broadcom also reiterated that it plans to shift its headquarters to the U.S.no later than May.

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Qualcomm also is a product supplier to the US government and is working with it on cybersecurity for the next generation of wireless, 5G and the Internet of Things, according to the letter.

Broadcom did not mention CFIUS in its announcement on Wednesday but said the company intends to "maintain the [research and development] resources Qualcomm devotes to 5G and innovation in future wireless standards". The USD 106 billion in debt financing arranged by Broadcom would be the largest corporate acqusition loan ever, the letter noted, putting further pressure on the company to boost profitability in order to service its debt. In the past dozen years, Broadcom has spent six times as much on acquisitions as it has on research and development.

Broadcom said it is run by a board of directors and senior management team consisting nearly entirely of Americans. "Limitation or cessation of supply of Qualcomm products or services to the U.S. government could have a detrimental impact on national security".

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Broadcom's hostile takeover attempt of Qualcomm could pose a national security risk because of Qualcomm's leadership in developing critical semiconductor technology, according to the United States treasury department, setting up a potentially insurmountable hurdle to getting a deal done. Both trade on the Nasdaq.

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