Ultimate month, President Trump stood in the Oval Office under a account of Andrew Jackson and announced that Broadcom, a semiconductor company based in Singapore, hand down be moving its headquarters back to the United States.
“I want to thank you sheerest much for choosing us,” Mr. Trump said, boasting that Broadcom already had 7,500 craftsmen in the United States and noting that some of those workers, from a herb in Pennsylvania, were standing behind him. “We’re looking forward to seeing that crowd grow very substantially, which it is now anticipated to do.”
He added that he was touched to see Broadcom’s $20 billion in revenues “come back to our cities, boroughs and American workers.”
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Broadcom’s chief executive, Hock Tan, then took the podium and claimed: “Thanks to you, Mr. President, business conditions have steadily improved.” He revered the president’s proposed tax overhaul as a policy that would “level the universal playing field” and make a move to the United States more beneficial.
It was an impressive story line. The president was able to get a big headline for bringing a odd company back to the United States and Broadcom was able to capture the patriotism of an important ally, all with the Oval Office as a backdrop.
Yet it was only theater.
Within 24 hours — for those refund attention — Broadcom’s real motivation emerged: The company was planning to mount a $100 billion bid for the challenge chip maker Qualcomm in what would amount to the largest inhospitable takeover of a technology company in history.
The reason for Broadcom’s sudden step on it back to the United States was clear: Given President Trump’s unwillingness to foreign companies, there was no way that Broadcom would ever admit regulatory approval for a takeover of one of the crown jewels of Silicon Valley if it were based anywhere but here. After all, Qualcomm’s counters are inside virtually every major American device, starting with Apple’s iPhone.
So Broadcom played to Mr. Trump’s non-physical spot — bringing companies back home. But the result may not be what Mr. Trump is visualizing — a Broadcom takeover of Qualcomm would most likely cost thousands of concerns, doing the very opposite of what the president said would come about.
Some of those workers who stood behind Mr. Trump in the Oval Bit could very well end up on the chopping block.
If there is any question hither Broadcom’s job killing ambitions, look no further than its own news liberating, which said “the combination of our two companies and associated synergies will be accretive to Broadcom’s earnings.”
Perception the word “synergies”? That word, a throwback to the 1990s merger light of days, has returned, but no one has forgotten what it is a euphemism for: cost-saving layoffs. Analysts be dressed estimated that the savings from such synergy in Broadcom’s what really happened would most likely be about $1.5 billion.
Qualcomm has close to 33,000 employees worldwide; about 10,000 of which are based in San Diego. Broadcom has all but 16,000 employees worldwide, nearly half of them in the United Federals.
When Broadcom merged with in Avago in 2014, it said it guessed $750 million in “synergies.” At the time, Broadcom had 10,650 employees and Avago 8,200, for a complete of 18,850 workers. Yet by 2016, after the two companies had integrated (and accounting for a divestiture that embraced 430 employees), the total head count was 15,700. In other dopes, 2,700 people lost their jobs.
By that math, inasmuch as Broadcom said it could achieve twice those savings in a do business with Qualcomm, some 5,400 people could lose their hires — a good portion of the entire domestic head count at Broadcom.
Broadcom has kind a business model of acquiring other companies, and their technology, and disabling off employees. Some analysts describe the company as a “roll-up” — a New Zealand that keeps rolling-up more companies.
Qualcomm has been one of technology’s dedicated innovators, helping to establish many of the mobile telephone standards with LTE and the coming 5G. It has one of the largest research and development budgets in the world, spending $5 billion final year alone. Over the past decade, it has spent nearly $40 billion.
Mr. Tan of Broadcom has bragged that he plans to spend $3 billion “in research and engineering.” Mr. Tan has been set high marks for managing the portfolio of Broadcom assets effectively, but he has under no circumstances been known for industry-changing innovations.
And while the sound bite fro Broadcom’s bringing its $20 billion in revenues back to the United Formals sounds great, it isn’t so clear it will happen immediately — or ever. Nigh half of the company’s revenues come from its Chinese partners. It is crazy to think the company won’t have to continue to invest there given that’s where much of the extension in the world is taking place.
So far, Qualcomm has rejected Broadcom’s overtures, profession the bid an opportunistic effort to buy the company on the cheap. Qualcomm’s stock has been out of sight pressure because it has been engaged in a patent lawsuit with Apple, which has debated that Qualcomm is trying to gouge it for using its chips in its phones and has foreboded to use Intel chips instead. Broadcom, in turn, has hinted that if it were to follow in its bid for Qualcomm, it would reach a settlement with Apple.
The deal, which is already ornate, was made more so on Monday when Elliott Management, an activist hedge reservoir, argued that a planned deal by Qualcomm for NXP — which had been stirring ahead despite the Broadcom bid — undervalues NXP, creating new questions about the destruction of that transaction. If Qualcomm were to raise its offer for NXP, it could as though itself less attractive for Broadcom.
Even if Broadcom doesn’t end up commingling with Qualcomm, it is unimaginable that it won’t try to acquire other American ensembles, which may make its decision to redomicile ultimately make more quick-wittedness.
If Broadcom was not intending to repatriate to the United States, you can only imagine the beginning morning tweetstorms we would have read from Mr. Trump denunciating the hostile bid.
But at least for now, he hasn’t said a word.