The largest tech acquisition ever in Europe

Qualcomm, the world’s largest mobile chip company, yesterday agreed to pay $47 billion for NXP, Europe’s most valuable chipmaker (that last year acquired Freescale of the US for $11.8 billion), in the latest sign of the upheaval that has come as the industry looks beyond the smartphone era. The transaction is also the largest tech acquisition ever in Europe and the biggest in a string of acquisitions by chipmakers hunting for scale and diversification in a consolidating industry, capping the $37 billion purchase of Broadcom by Avago last year (and Intel with Altera, erlier). Qualcomm outflanked Intel, the dominant maker of PC chips, to become the leading supplier of the brains for today’s most widely used intelligent devices, but has faced shareholder unrest since the smartphone market showed signs of maturing… NXP has positioned itself as the leading provider of chips for the automotive market, which is undergoing rapid transformation, with the emergence of constantly connected, electric and autonomous vehicles. Its chips are also used in a wide range of industrial applications and so-called “internet of things” devices… (e.g. for self driving veihicles, where NVIDIA is leader)


Richard Waters, Lauren Fedor and Nathalie Thomas