Broadcom Now Seeking Fewer of Qualcomm’s Board Seats

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Both companies are expected to meet on Wednesday for the first time in months, raising the possibility that somehow they can bridge their differences and reach an agreement.

Until then, Broadcom is further pressuring its target. Broadcom’s chief executive, Hock Tan, said in a statement on Tuesday that reducing the number of director seats that his company was seeking would help provide some “continuity” for Qualcomm’s board.

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Shareholders, he added, “have welcomed our willingness to provide for appropriate continuity on the Qualcomm board, and have also expressed a desire for a definitive mechanism of achieving such continuity. Reducing the number of nominees we are seeking to a simple majority provides precisely that mechanism.”

A representative for Qualcomm was not immediately available for comment. Shares in both companies were lower in trading on Tuesday.

At the same time, a campaign to unseat some of Qualcomm’s directors — rather than the company’s entire board — could be more palatable to proxy advisory firms like Institutional Shareholder Services and Glass Lewis, whose voting recommendations can carry significant weight with investors. Both firms are expected to issue their reports on the board contest in the coming weeks.

Mr. Tan essentially signaled that Broadcom would seek fewer board seats in an interview on CNBC on Monday.

“If at least a majority of our slate does not get in on March 6, then I guess we will get the message that this deal is not going to happen,” he said. “We will walk.”

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