Qualcomm Inc's QCOM.O board of directors was meeting on Friday to discuss former executive chairman Paul Jacobs stepping down after he told the USA semiconductor company he was exploring acquiring it, people familiar with the matter said on Friday.
Paul Jacobs, the company's former CEO, will be leaving Qualcomm's board as of the annual meeting on March 23.
Qualcomm's board nominees are on course to get only 16 percent of the votes cast at its forthcoming shareholder meeting, even though they're now unopposed, Broadcom Chief Financial Officer Tom Krause said earlier this week.
Without an existing company as acquirer, Jacobs, whose father Irwin co-founded Qualcomm, is attempting to put together the largest leveraged buyout of all time, three times as large as the $45 billion buyout of Texas power utility Energy Future Holdings, which ended in bankruptcy.
Qualcomm declined to comment beyond its press release.
Jacobs has informed its board of directors that he will seek to partner with investment firms to make an offer for the US semiconductor company.
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Jacobs resigned as executive chairman of the board on March 9, during Broadcom's ultimately unsuccessful $117 billion bid for Qualcomm. Jacobs is estimatesd to own less than 1% of Qualcomm stock.
Given that Qualcomm's board director slate faces no competition, the re-election of Qualcomm's nominees is assured.
In his statement, Jacobs said he believed that Qualcomm could strengthen itself in the global chip business by going private. 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.
The possibility of a buyout offer was first reported late Thursday by the Financial Times in London. "These opportunities are challenging as a standalone public company", he said.
Dr. Paul E. Jacobs has responded to Qualcomm's decision on his board seat, stating that he feels it's unfortunate that Qualcomm is attempting to remove him from the board at this point in time.
Qualcomm's stock was trading over $61 per share after hours, up almost 1 percent.