Broadcom, the prominent computer chip and software manufacturer, has successfully overcome regulatory challenges and is poised to conclude its $69 billion acquisition of cloud technology giant VMware on Wednesday.
The San Jose-based company confirmed its commitment to the deal after receiving approval from China, marking the last regulatory hurdle in the extensive approval process. Broadcom’s acquisition involves a substantial financial commitment, with $61 billion in cash and stock for VMware, coupled with the assumption of $8 billion in debt, making it one of the most significant technology transactions to date.
This announcement closely follows Microsoft’s acquisition of video game-maker Activision Blizzard for $69 billion, underscoring the current trend of high-value tech acquisitions.
The regulatory journey for Broadcom spanned 18 months, concluding just days before the merger agreement expiration. China’s State Administration of Market Regulation, in its approval, acknowledged Broadcom’s commitments, submitted earlier, which were designed to mitigate concerns about the impact of the merger.
The timing of these substantial buyouts is notable, given the global supply chain disruptions, geopolitical unrest in Europe and the Middle East, and escalating prices that pose potential challenges to both business and consumer activities.
Broadcom had previously secured approval from the UK’s competition regulator. Numerous businesses and public entities, including major banks, retailers, telecom operators, and government departments, rely on Broadcom’s products and VMware’s software.
The European Commission, the EU’s antitrust enforcer, granted approval after Broadcom addressed concerns about competition through concessions. Broadcom’s strategic aim is to establish a more robust presence in the cloud computing market, and VMware’s technology facilitates the seamless integration of public cloud access with internal corporate networks.
Broadcom highlighted that it had obtained legal clearance in multiple countries, including Australia, Brazil, Canada, the European Union, Israel, Japan, South Africa, South Korea, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, and others. The company emphasized that there are no legal impediments under U.S. merger regulations.
The surge in such high-profile acquisitions is a result of the decline in technology companies’ stock values from the peaks reached during the pandemic, making such deals more financially viable. Broadcom’s CEO, Hock Tan, known for pursuing transformative deals, sees the VMware acquisition as a “very unique opportunity to take our company and its business to the next level,” as described in an earnings call following the deal’s announcement.