Qualcomm on Tuesday increased its takeover bid for rival chip maker NXP Semiconductors to about $44 billion in hopes of shoring up support for the deal, and to potentially fend off its own unwanted suitor, Broadcom.
Under the new terms, Qualcomm would pay $127.50 for each NXP share, 16 percent more than originally proposed, and the threshold for how many NXP shareholders must agree to tender their shares would be lowered to 70 percent from 80 percent.
In statements, Qualcomm officials said NXP technology would bolster their company’s products for the next-generation 5G wireless standard.
“The acquisition of NXP will enable us to accelerate our growth strategy,” Tom Horton, Qualcomm’s presiding director, said. “The board unanimously believes this is an attractive acquisition at this price for Qualcomm stockholders.”
The revised bid was enough to win over investors controlling roughly 28 percent of NXP’s shares, including Elliott Management, the activist hedge fund that had opposed Qualcomm’s initial offer as too low. Elliott had argued that NXP, whose chips are used in cars, payment terminals and other products, was worth at least $135 a share.
The question now is whether the new offer will force Broadcom to walk away from its $121 billion hostile bid for Qualcomm. Broadcom’s chief executive , Hock Tan, has said that his company would abandon the takeover if Qualcomm’s offer for NXP rose above $110 a share.
It was not immediately clear whether Broadcom would act on that threat or wait to gauge the reaction of Qualcomm investors. A Broadcom spokesman declined to comment on Qualcomm’s revised bid for NXP.
Broadcom got some good news recently when Institutional Shareholder Services, an influential investor advisory firm, recommended that Qualcomm shareholders vote to install four of Broadcom’s six nominees for the Qualcomm board. Another adviser, Glass Lewis, backed all of Broadcom’s nominees.
Broadcom has said that its offer was contingent on all six of its candidates being elected.