Former Qualcomm CEO reportedly seeking to make the company go private
Qualcomm has been in the news for the last five months. The saga started when Broadcom’s unsolicited bid to acquire Qualcomm was rejected by the company. Broadcom increased its bid, then decreased it, and attempted a hostile takeover. After these developments, the proposed acquisition was blocked. It means that Qualcomm remains a public company with its board of directors.
Now, though, Paul Jacobs, who was ousted as Qualcomm’s chairman in March, is said to be talking to strategic investors and sovereign wealth funds to contribute to “a fully financed bid to take the company private in the next two months,” according to CNBC. The former chairman would run the company after it will have been taken private.
The CNBC report states that one of the potential investors is ARM, which was bought by Softbank back in 2016 for more than $30 billion. ARM’s technology forms the basis for processors used in mobile devices, including Qualcomm’s SoCs. (For example, the Snapdragon 845‘s Kryo 385 Performance and Kryo 385 Efficiency cores are based on the ARM Cortex-A75 and the Cortex-A55 respectively.)
ARM has denied that it’s talked with Jacobs about a possible acquisition involving Qualcomm. A spokesperson told CNBC that no discussions have been held between ARM and Paul Jacobs.
The report adds that Jacobs has hired two banks and lawyers to work on the deal. If and when the deal is completed, he is said to be hoping for fewer than ten owners to be involved. Right now, he owns less than 1 percent of Qualcomm. Also, under his plan, control of the company will remain in the US.
Jacobs reportedly does not believe that the company should be carved up. However, he believes that he can only implement his plan for it as a private company, because the plan will require “significant investment” and things that “public shareholders would not like.”
Irwin Jobs was a co-founder of Qualcomm, and his son Paul Jacobs was the CEO of the company from 2005 to 2014. He served as chairman since 2014, but he was removed in March by the board after he informed them of his desire to take the company private.
Qualcomm and Apple have filed multiple lawsuits against each other. Apple accuses Qualcomm of patent infringement and of overcharging for license payments, while Qualcomm has its own issues with Apple. In this regard, Jacobs plans to settle the dispute with Apple and “rely on his strong relationship with [Apple’s CEO],” the report stated.
Finally, Jacobs reportedly plans to maintain Qualcomm’s license business, unlike Broadcom, which would shut down that piece of the company. The former chairman apparently feels that the licensing business is actually the strongest part of the company if operated correctly. The industry will have to wait and see how things play out, while we wait for more Snapdragon 845 phones to be released and for the company to officially announce the Snapdragon 710.Source: CNBC