In the fall of 2016, the boards of Qualcomm and NXP Semiconductors agreed to merge the companies. It looked like a good deal all around: NXP is the biggest automotive chipmaker, providing diversification to Qualcomm, the biggest mobile-phone chipmaker that makes most of its money licensing its patents.
But much has happened in the past year: European Union regulators twice asked for more information on the NXP deal; China is also holding up the marriage; the mighty Apple sued Qualcomm for charging royalties for products it allegedly has nothing to do with. Recently, Broadcom Ltd. made a bid for Qualcomm; the offer of $70 a share was quickly rejected.
To fight off Broadcom, Qualcomm would like to have NXP in the fold. A fatter company is harder to take over. But now some big shareholders in NXP want a bigger bid than Qualcomm's $47 billion.
"Qualcomm can't close the deal without a buy-in from NXP holders," says the Washington Post. As of November 16, only 2.4 percent of NXP shareholders had tendered their shares. "Qualcomm needs 80 percent to get the deal done."
Bloomberg.com says Qualcomm is close to regulatory approval of the NXP deal but has to woo a group of NXP shareholders. "Investors who together hold at least 15 percent of NXP shares said they won't back the existing offer of $110 a share, and they're holding out for at least $125 apiece."