QUALCOMM FACES PROXY LOSS
A certain hostile takeover attempt of Qualcomm threatens a valuable home-town company that provides high –level salaries for 13,000 residents and 34,000 worldwide. The corporate family also supports many civic organizations and has a strong bond with UCSD.
What could happen if the Singapore-based Broadcom took control? San Diego would lose one of only two Fortune 500 companies and witness the decline of a major high-tech innovator that is poised to compete with the largest chip makers. The loss of local support for arts and education would be drastic for our local economy.
Why would operations of Qualcomm change if Broadcom was successful in a proxy war? Hock Tan, the head honcho at Broadcom, consistently raids companies that show potential with attractive offers, then breaks them up, He has been very successful as his company has increased share value 61% in just the last year.
Like other corporate raiders, Hock sells off the portions of a new acquisition and folds the crown jewels into a network of subsidiaries, Ergo – there goes any Qualcomm identity.
The major reason this hostile takeover could succeed is the big percent of institutional shareholders. The core is 78% of private equity funds, corporate investors like pension funds, and financial institutions. They are invested for profit and will support a big increase in Qualcomm stock to take a profit. There is no concern about the local impact of breaking up the company.
Attempting to head-off a proxy battle, Qualcomm management did not distribute any proxy data about Broadcom’s candidates for the board sent to shareholders. Broadcom is ambitious by proposing its own eleven directors.
The March 6 shareholders’ meeting will surely be lively and very critical for San Diego, To lose a Fortune 500 company hurts our image and econony.
Broadcom’s bid at $103 a share was a 28% premium due to legal issues over royalties had dragged the stock value down. That will influence the instuitional investors when they cast their ballots for the director slate.
Broadcom issued a large prospectus to promote is control and a blue proxy to vote, At first Qualcomm did not send a prospectus to stockholders in street name. However an equally large prospectus with a white proxy,
Now all Qualcomm stockholder could see the better qualified board of directors for re-election. There is no doubt that they are more experienced than the Broadcom candidIdates.