Former Qualcomm CEO Wants to Take Company Private

Paul Jacobs has already approached potential partners about effort (Updated)
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Now that Broadcom’s fiasco of an unsolicited play for Qualcomm is over, another round of chaos could be encircling the coveted chip giant.

RELATED: Broadcom Formally Withdraws Offer for Qualcomm

Paul Jacobs, a former Qualcomm CEO and a member of its founding family, has been holding talks with potential partners, including SoftBank, about a way to put in a bid that would take the company private, according to the Financial Times.

Investors generally shrugged off the idea, which Bloomberg said would be akin to Michael Dell’s buyout of Dell Inc. while also labeling Jacobs’s purported pursuit as a “pointless quest,” as Qualcomm shares rose 1.22% to $60.62 each Friday.

The Los Angeles Times said SoftBank likely won’t help out Jacobs in part because such an arrangement could undermine Arm Holdings, SoftBank’s own chip designer.

Per reports, Jacobs, still a Qualcomm director, sent a letter to the board alerting it to his interest in taking Qualcomm private, and it was expected to be an item of discussion today when the board holds a regularly scheduled board meeting.

Update: In light of these new developments, Qualcomm on Friday (March 16) announced that Jacobs would not be re-nominated to its board of directors at its March 23 annual stockholder meeting. “The board reached that decision following his notification to the Board that he has decided to explore the possibility of making a proposal to acquire Qualcomm,” the company said, adding that its board will consist of 10 directors at the meeting.

“There can be no assurance that Dr. Jacobs can or will make a proposal, but, if he does, the Board will of course evaluate it consistent with its fiduciary duties to shareholders,” Qualcomm said. “Dr. Jacobs has been a valued employee and director of Qualcomm since 1990, rising to the level of Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board, and he has been one of the great innovators in our industry. The Board is grateful to Dr. Jacobs for his decades of service and for the commitment, experience and vision he has brought to that service. The Board thanks him for his many contributions to Qualcomm.”

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