Beijing time on April 13 morning news, according to CNBC reports, informed sources, Paul Jacobs, who stepped down as chairman of Qualcomm in March this year, is communicating with strategic investors and sovereign wealth funds, hoping to get full Financial support to privatize Qualcomm in the next two months. After that, he will personally operate the company.
British chip design company ARM is one of the potential investors, and Softbank spent more than $30 billion in 2016 to acquire it. Most of today’s smartphone and tablet processors use ARM’s technology architecture, including Qualcomm.
People familiar with the matter said that Jacob has hired two banks and lawyers to handle the deal. When the transaction is completed, he hopes to participate in fewer than 10 owners. But economic ownership may not be consistent with corporate control. Jacob himself holds less than 1% of Qualcomm shares.
According to Jacob’s plan, control will remain in the United States, thus avoiding the national security review that Broadcom encountered when it negotiated Qualcomm for $120 billion. After the US Foreign Investment Committee (CFIUS) expressed concern about potential national security risks, US President Trump blocked the deal in March this year. The Broadcom headquarters was in Singapore at the time, but has since moved to the United States.
However, Jacob is still working behind the scenes with CFIUS, hoping to solve potential problems. In fact, if there is a large amount of economic benefits from foreign sovereign wealth funds, the transaction will still encounter problems in theory. The Softbank-controlled Vision Fund received a large capital injection from the Saudi Arabian Sovereign Wealth Fund.
Informed sources said that Jacob does not believe that Qualcomm should be split, but he believes that only privatization can implement the plan, because this plan requires a large investment, and listed company shareholders do not like this way.
Jacob’s father, Irwin, is the co-founder of Qualcomm, and Jacob himself was promoted to CEO in 2005-2014. Since then, Steve Mollenkopf has served as CEO and Jacob has served as chairman. After Jacob expressed his idea of privatization in March this year, he was dismissed from the position of chairman.
The company was involved in a legal dispute with Apple, which used Qualcomm’s core wireless technology. Apple believes that Qualcomm charges too much and has filed a lawsuit against patent infringement. Qualcomm hopes to ban the iPhone in China and has launched other offensives. Informed sources said that Jacob plans to settle disputes with Apple and hopes to make full use of his good personal relationship with Apple CEO Tim Cook.
Jacob also plans to retain Qualcomm’s licensing business, which is different from Broadcom, which wants to split it. Jacob believes that as long as it is done properly, the licensing business is actually the most powerful component of Qualcomm.