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Intel casts doubt on report of interest in Broadcom

12 March 2018

Intel is considering a number of acquisition options, including a bid for Broadcom, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal reported Friday.

Reportedly, Intel believes a combined Qualcomm and Broadcom would pose a serious threat to the company.

For those unaware, a couple of months ago, Broadcom had made an unexpected and unsolicited bid to acquire its rival chipmaker, Qualcomm for $130 billion in November 2017 but this initial bid was rejected by Qualcomm's board of directors, and so were every subsequent counter offer claiming that Broadcom's proposed price for the deal "undervalues" the company. One source told the Journal that it would be unlikely. A successful deal would create a much larger competitor for Intel.

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If Broadcom can convince US regulators that it should be allowed to purchase Qualcomm, an even bigger fish is standing by possibly ready to gobble up Broadcom. At least, that would be the case if the deal exists: Intel, naturally, has refused to comment on what it describes as rumours and speculation, while both Qualcomm and Broadcom have been silent on the matter. The report cautioned it's far from guaranteed that Intel would make an offer and that it could pursue smaller acquisitions instead.

Broadcom has a market cap of around Dollars 104 billion, while Intel, the world's largest chipmaker, is valued at nearly USD 240 billion. Also, there is no clarity if Broadcom's bid to acquire Qualcomm will actually happen.

The company said previous year it's buying Israeli self-driving auto technology maker Mobileye NV for about $15 billion. From Intel's point of view, Broadcom's reach into device makers could give it a second chance at mobility and make up for the need for a combined company to satisfy anti-competition rumblings about consolidation of networking and storage products.

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Its offer for Qualcomm has been met with resistance, not only from Qualcomm executives but also from the USA government, which has initiated a review on national security concerns.

Broadcom did not immediately respond to a request for comment. These gambits could include an attempt to buy Broadcom were it to succeed in its pursuit of Qualcomm, the Journal reported.

Broadcomm also supplies wireless chips for devices from Samsung Electronics Co., ZTE Corp., LG Electronics Inc., Huawei Technologies Co., and Cisco Systems Inc., according to Bloomberg data.

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Intel casts doubt on report of interest in Broadcom