Qualcomm: $44B NXP acquisition is dead

Qualcomm

Qualcomm on Monday rejected a suggestion by the White House that its collapsed US$44 billion acquisition of Dutch peer NXP Semiconductors could be revived, after the White House said that China was "open to approving the previously unapproved" deal "should it again be presented".

Qualcomm scrapped its proposed $44 billion bid for rival chip-maker NXP in July after an nearly two-year wait for approval, as tensions between the USA and China escalated.

"Qualcomm considers the matter closed and is fully focused on continuing to execute on its 5G road map", it added.

After the meeting, Trump said they had reached an "incredible deal". This deal was so important to Qualcomm that in their 2017 Annual Report, the approval of the deal was the first risk listed before revenue decline from licenses and increased competition. Qualcomm used share buybacks of $5 billion to try to maintain its stock price for their shareholders after the deal was cancelled.

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Since then, Qualcomm has paid the $2 billion breakup fee owed to NXP and embarked on an accelerated share repurchase program. Now, chip companies may be more optimistic about their regulatory chances in China. Xilinx is now vying to acquire Israeli chip maker Mellanox Technologies after it chose to run an auction to sell itself, according to people familiar with the matter. In July 2018, the deal finally fell apart when China disapproved the deal.

A more near-term test being watched by dealmakers is KLA-Tencor Corp pending acquisition of fellow semiconductor equipment maker, Israel's Orbotech Ltd. The deal eventually failed in July after a regulatory deadline passed without approval from China's State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR), which oversees antitrust regulation in the country.

Thus far, other high-profile mergers and acquisitions involving USA companies in other sectors have received Chinese approval.

"If that deal came back to him, he would most likely approve it quickly", Trump said.

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