Elliott says chipmaker NXP worth 23 percent more than Qualcomm’s offer

(Reuters) – Activist investor Elliott Management Corp said on Monday NXP Semiconductors NV (NXPI.O) is worth about 23 percent more than Qualcomm Inc’s (QCOM.O) $38-billion offer to buy the chipmaker.

A man works on a tent for NXP Semiconductors in preparation for the 2015 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) at Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S. on January 4, 2015. REUTERS/Steve Marcus/File Photo

Elliott, which has a stake of about 6 percent in NXP, said NXP was worth $135 per share on an intrinsic standalone basis, compared with Qualcomm’s offer of $110 made in October 2016.

NXP shares were up 0.6 percent at $116 in morning trading, while Qualcomm’s shares were up about 1 percent at $64.87.

Elliott, a New York-based hedge fund, said Qualcomm’s offer had taken advantage of NXP’s depressed stock price last year and has acted as a ceiling on its valuation.

“We believe NXP’s prospects are bright. Approximately half of NXP’s revenue is exposed to exciting growth engines of the semiconductor market – automotive and industrial,” Elliott said in a letter to other NXP shareholders.

Qualcomm replied saying it believed the agreed-upon price of $110 is full and fair, and that it remained fully committed to closing the acquisition.

“Elliott’s value assertion for NXP is unsupportable and is clearly nothing more than an attempt to advance its own self-serving agenda,” Qualcomm said in a statement.

Elliott said it has retained UBS to conduct a financial analysis on NXP and that it would share the report with other shareholders.

NXP’s shares have been trading above Qualcomm’s offer price since Aug. 4 when Elliott indicated it was pushing for a higher price.

Besides trying to convince NXP investors of the planned acquisition, Qualcomm has also toiled to win regulatory approval and has offered certain concessions to address concerns the deal would hamper competition in the market.

Since it offered to buy NXP, Qualcomm itself has been the target of an acquisition approach from Broadcom Ltd (AVGO.O), but it rejected the $103-billion offer last month.

Broadcom had indicated it was willing to acquire Qualcomm, for $70 per share, irrespective of whether it closed the NXP deal.

Acquiring NXP would make Qualcomm the leading chip supplier to the fast-growing automotive market.

Reporting by Aishwarya Venugopal in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D’Souza

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