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Covington Secures Presidential Order Protecting Qualcomm from Hostile Takeover

March 15, 2018

WASHINGTON—Covington secured a U.S. Presidential order compelling Broadcom Limited to “immediately and permanently abandon” its proposed hostile takeover of its client Qualcomm, Inc. The order was based on findings by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) that Broadcom's takeover "threatens to impair the national security of the United States."

Qualcomm, a San Diego-based semiconductor company, leads the world in research and development of 5G wireless technology, the foundational wireless technology that will enable the Internet of Things and countless other applications—including critical military, intelligence, and public safety applications—in the next generation of mobile communications. Broadcom, at the time a Singapore-domiciled semiconductor company, first announced its intentions of a hostile takeover in November 2017.

Called an “extraordinary intervention” using “an unusual strategy” by The Wall Street Journal, the order marked total victory for Qualcomm in its bid to remain an independent company. The order also received coverage in the Financial Times, The New York Times, and The Washington Post.

The Covington team was led by David Fagan, Holly Fechner, Mark Plotkin, and David Schwartzbaum, and included Jonathan Wakely, Ingrid Price, and Brian Williams (CFIUS); Jon Kyl, Bill Wichterman, Matthew Shapanka, and Peter Rechter (Public Policy); and Keir Gumbs, Norman Greenberg, and Charli Gibbs-Tabler (Corporate).


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