Qualcomm discussing Jacobs leaving board of directors


Jacobs said he was considering a buyout offer because Qualcomm faces challenges as a public company. That's because he's looking at buying out the company his father, Irwin Jacobs, co-founded, San Diego-based Qualcomm said.

In the midst of some intracorporate shuffling to protect itself against a Broadcom takeover, Jacobs stepped down, though he remained on the board, and the board appointed a non-executive chairman to lead it.

Qualcomm said in a statement that its board of directors met on Friday and decided that Jacobs would not be nominated for re-election at its annual meeting on March 23, and that the board would shrink to 10 members from 11. For an individual, raising the money needed to complete a leveraged buyout of more than $100 billion would be challenging to say the least, particularly if funding sources are restricted to the US due to regulatory scrutiny on overseas chip deals. Jacobs is estimatesd to own less than 1% of Qualcomm stock. But it's easy to read between the lines of Qualcomm's statement - which, as always, has to say it will fulfill its fiduciary duty to its shareholders. "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". The sources asked not to be identified because the deliberations are confidential.

- Broadcom ( AVGO ) dropped over 4% on Friday, falling to a session low of $256.23, after Intel ( INTC ) CEO Brian Krzanich late Thursday said the chipmaking giant has no interest in acquiring Broadcom at this time.

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Qualcomm's stock was trading over $61 per share after hours, up almost 1 percent.

SoftBank would give the move credibility but it would face conflicts given its ownership of British chip designer ARM.

In response to Qualcomm's choice to essentially remove him from the board, Jacbos states that "There are real opportunities to accelerate Qualcomm's innovation success and strengthen its position in the global marketplace". However, limited support for Qualcomm's directors could put pressure on Mollenkopf.