Financial Times reporting that Qualcomm director has approached SoftBank and other potential buyers

Paul Jacobs, former executive chairman of the Qualcomm Board of Directors and son of company founder Irwin Jacobs, is reportedly looking to sell the San Diego, Calif.-based silicon and R&D giant. The move, first reported by Financial Times citing “three people with direct knowledge about the matter,” comes after President Trump issued a presidential order putting an end to a months-long hostile takeover attempt by Singapore-based Broadcom.

After the Department of Treasury’s Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. ordered Qualcomm to scrap a March 6 annual shareholder’s meeting to allow for a review of Broadcom’s more than $100 billion bid, Trump on Monday officially stopped the back-and-forth with a presidential order.

Trump wrote, “There is credible evidence that leads me to believe that Broadcom Limited, a limited company organized under the laws of Singapore (Broadcom), along with its partners, subsidiaries, or affiliates, including Broadcom Corporation, a California corporation, and Broadcom Cayman L.P., a Cayman Islands limited partnership, and their partners, subsidiaries, or affiliates (together, the Purchaser), through exercising control of Qualcomm Incorporated (Qualcomm), a Delaware corporation, might take action that threatens to impair the national security of the United States.”

According to Financial Times, Jacobs “has informed members of the board about his place to launch a buyout,” and has “approached” SoftBank, a Japanese conglomerate with myriad technology- and telecom-related holdings including a majority stake in U.S. carrier Sprint.

The big question mark here is how a potential deal with SoftBank or any other foreign interest would be received by federal authorities. If being purchased by a Singapore-based company represents a potential national security issue related to losing leadership in 5G, does that same paradigm apply to a Japanese company? Stay tuned.

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