Qualcomm’s proposed $38 billion acquisition of NXP Semiconductors faced additional scrutiny after the latter’s minority shareholder Ramius Advisors joined activist investor Elliott Management in opposing the deal.
Ramius Advisors, an affiliate of investment management company Cowen, owns around 2.5 million shares in NXP, giving it a stake of less than 1 per cent, Reuters reported.
In a statement, Ramius Advisors said it had informed NXP directors of its intention to reject Qualcomm’s current tender offer because it believed the bid “dramatically undervalues NXP”. The company’s comments echo those of Elliott Management, the largest single shareholder in NXP, which in late 2017 said Qualcomm’s offer took advantage of NXP’s depressed share price in 2016 (when the deal was first struck) and described the takeover bid as “highly opportunistic”.
Despite the opposition, the merger process has been underway for some time. Qualcomm is expected to receive regulatory clearance from the European Commission this week, after the two companies addressed competition concerns. However, securing shareholder approval is still a crucial step for the deal to go through. By 15 December 2017, just 1.9 per cent of shares had been tendered.
Qualcomm is, of course, also in the process of fending off a takeover bid from Broadcom.
Ramius Advisors said in its statement a “successful completion of the NXP acquisition will significantly enhance the value of Qualcomm, with or without the consummation of the conditional takeover bid from Broadcom”.
“Should Qualcomm fail to complete its acquisition of NXP, Ramius believes that Qualcomm shareholders will seriously question the ability of Qualcomm to execute its strategy as an independent entity,” it added.