By Diane Bartz
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Singapore-based chipmaker Broadcom Ltd, which is seeking to buy rival Qualcomm Inc, plans to complete its move back to the United States by mid-May, according to sources familiar with the matter.
Wrapping up the move from Singapore and redomiciling in the United States relatively quickly could remove a roadblock to the proposed deal by calming concerns at the inter-agency Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), which has the power to stop deals that could harm national security.
Broadcom said in November that it would return to the United States but did not say when the move would happen.
Broadcom shareholders will vote on the proposal by May 6, after which it must be confirmed by a judge. Once that happens, which is expected in early to mid-May, the redomiciling can happen quickly, according to a source familiar with the matter.
The entire process is likely to be wrapped up as soon as mid-May, the source added.
Broadcom was a U.S. company until it was bought in 2016 by Singapore’s Avago, which decided to use the name Broadcom.
Despite Broadcom’s plans to move back to the United States, CFIUS has already shown an interest in the proposed transaction because Broadcom has proposed six directors for Qualcomm’s 11-member board. The vote on that slate is set for Tuesday.
Broadcom has argued that CFIUS’ concern is unwarranted since it does not control the directors that it proposed.
“Broadcom could not and will not control the Qualcomm board – the essential basis for CFIUS jurisdiction – in the event some or all of the independent, Broadcom-nominated directors are elected,” the company said in a statement on Friday.
It also reiterated it was confident it would be able to win regulatory approval for a deal to buy Qualcomm within approximately 12 months of reaching an agreement.
Qualcomm has argued that Broadcom’s $117 billion offer undervalues the company. Broadcom has accused Qualcomm of failing to negotiate seriously, saying they were involved in “engagement theater.”
(Reporting by Diane Bartz and Stephen Nellis; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli)