As expected, Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) has extended its official tender offer for NXP Semiconductors (NASDAQ:NXPI) shares. In an SEC filing, posted in the early morning hours on Feb. 6, Qualcomm moved the expiration date to March 7, 2017.
The offer was previously scheduled to expire at the close of business, Feb. 6. As before, Qualcomm reserves the right to extend the offer period as circumstances might require.
According to the filing, approximately 14.8% of NXP's outstanding shares have been tendered so far. That's far short of the 80% tender acceptance rate that would trigger Qualcomm actually sending out cash payments of $110 per NXP share and effectively closing the deal.
Investors saw good tidings in these tea leaves, and NXP shares traded 1.3% higher on an otherwise quiet Monday morning. That's on top of a 1.8% gain following NXP's release of a strong fourth-quarter report last Wednesday. All told, NXP shares now trade roughly 8.5% below Qualcomm's firm $110 per-share offer. Two weeks ago, the stock could have been bought for just $96 per share, or a 13% discount against the final buyout price.
NXP owners have had their investment theses shaken up in recent weeks. Investors are adjusting to POTUS 45's signals about stricter reviews of big-ticket mergers, alongside tense diplomatic relations with China and Qualcomm's potentially expensive legal challenges. NXP's rock-solid fourth-quarter report calmed some jittery nerves, and the extended deadline for Qualcomm's tender offer also served as a vote of confidence in closing the deal.
The game-changing merger took another step forward this week. Granted, the 14.8% acceptance rate may have been lower than ideal. But NXP just proved its business's worth, which should keep Qualcomm committed to shrugging off distractions and completing the buyout.