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You are here: Home / Computing / Broadcom Lines Up $100B Financing
Broadcom Lines Up Massive Funding for Qualcomm Takeover
Broadcom Lines Up Massive Funding for Qualcomm Takeover
By Mike Freeman Like this on Facebook Tweet this Link thison Linkedin Link this on Google Plus
Broadcom has lined up $100 billion in debt financing from a dozen major financial backers to pay for its hostile takeover bid for Qualcomm, the company said early Monday.

The massive debt commitment answers a key concern about whether Broadcom could fund the $121 billion deal -- keeping the pressure on Qualcomm's board of directors ahead of a meeting with Broadcom Chief Executive Hock Tan later this week.

Broadcom said it has received credit commitment for the deal from major banks including B of A/Merrill Lynch, affiliates of Deutsche Bank, J.P. Morgan, Mizuho, Wells Fargo, BMO Capital, Morgan Stanley, RBC Capital Markets, Union Bank parent Mitsubishi Financial and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp.

It also has added private equity firms KKR and CVC Capital, which have joined Broadcom's long-time private equity backer Silver Lake Partners in agreeing to supply $6 billion in convertible debt to fund the transaction and for working capital if it closes.

Silver Lake had already committed $5 billion in bridge financing and investment funds toward the proposed deal.

Qualcomm's stock price has been depressed for more than a year because of legal battles with Apple and global competition regulators over patent licensing -- opening the door for Broadcom's takeover attempt.

A Broadcom buyout likely would have a significant impact on San Diego -- eliminating one of only two locally headquartered Fortune 500 companies.

In addition, Tan has a reputation for running lean. Though Broadcom and Qualcomm posted similar sales this year, Tan employs 17,000 global workers, compared with Qualcomm's 33,000 employees worldwide, including roughly 13,000 in San Diego.

Broadcom has been pursuing a buyout of Qualcomm since November, and last week raised its offer to $82 per share -- $60 in cash and $22 in Broadcom stock. The debt financing would fully fund the cash portion of the deal.

Qualcomm's board rejected both Broadcom's original $70 per share offer and the new higher offer.

Qualcomm contends that even at $82 per share, the price doesn't put any value to Qualcomm eventually settling its legal disputes, its pending $38 billion acquisition of Dutch Automotive chip maker NXP Semiconductors or the major market opportunity from 5G wireless networks, which are expected to begin rolling out early next year.

Qualcomm also has raised concerns that the acquisition would face tough scrutiny from global antitrust regulators that could last for 18 months. If regulators eventually blocked the deal, Qualcomm contends its business would have been irreparably harmed in the interim.

Tan has counted that $82 per share is his final and best offer. He has proposed an $8 billion break-up fee should regulators block the merger. And he has pledged to pay 6 percent annual interest on the $60 cash portion of the transaction should it fail to close in a year.

In addition, Tan said his offer stands if Qualcomm acquires NXP for the current $110 per share agreed upon price or if the offer is terminated. But the deal is off if Qualcomm pays more for NXP.

Activist NXP shareholders are advocating for a higher price for the long-delayed deal, which is still awaiting regulatory approval in China. NXP shareholder Elliott Management says the company is worth $135 per share.

While Qualcomm's board rejected the higher bid, it did agree to meet with Tan this week for the first time. That meeting is expected Tuesday or Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Broadcom has nominated 11 candidates to replace Qualcomm's entire board of directors to push the deal through.

Shareholders will vote on Broadcom's candidates or Qualcomm's current board by the company's March 6 annual stockholder meeting.

© 2018 San Diego Union-Tribune under contract with NewsEdge/Acquire Media. All rights reserved.

Image credit: iStock/Artist's concept.

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