Qualcomm: $44B NXP acquisition is dead

Qualcomm NXP Deal

Talks between US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping at the recent G20 summit in Argentina led to a softening in the relationship and a standstill agreement in the trade war while negotiations continue. The company, however, dismissed the idea.

World's largest smartphone chip-maker rejected a suggestion by the White House that its collapsed $44 billion acquisition of Dutch peer NXP Semiconductors could be revived, saying the deal had been terminated as the deadline had expired.

The deal which started in October 2016 fell apart in July 2018 when the government of China did not approve the merger. Approval was conducted for almost two years as the tense in the United States and China increased, and it was not approved by the Chinese authorities. Qualcomm was given just an hour's notice by the Trump administration about Xi's comment on the NXP deal, and its inclusion in the White House statement, according to two of the sources.

Now, Yao, senior analyst at TrendForce says that Qualcomm could be forced to reconsider the move even after backing out because of unimpressive mobile chip sales this year.

The failure of the $44 billion merger deal was expensive for both sides: Qualcomm had to pay NXP a $2 billion breakup fee, and both Qualcomm and NXP launched huge share buybacks to mollify annoyed investors.

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However, Reuters reports that Qualcomm representatives made it clear through an email, that the company considers the matter closed.

Trump said the United States would be "holding back on tariffs, and "China will be getting rid of tariffs".

"Although that acquisition can not be resuscitated, Xi's comment reveals in plain sight that Chinese antitrust policy is inherently politicized", said Scott Kennedy, a China expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in a blog post. NXP has also announced its own $5 billion share buyback program.

Competition regulators in eight countries had approved the takeover.

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