Chip giant Qualcomm (QCOM 3.36%) has updated its tender offer for every share of automotive computing expert NXP Semiconductors (NXPI 3.12%) again. The number of shares committed to Qualcomm's all-cash offer per NXP have been dwindling over the last year, with just a temporary respite in October.

Let's have a look at the latest in this long-running merger saga.

By the numbers

When NXP shareholders commit their stubs to Qualcomm's offer, the shares may be withdrawn at any time. Here's the latest tally:

Offer Update

NXP Shares Tendered

% of Shares Tendered

March 9, 2018

65.3 million


March 5, 2018

36.1 million


February 2018

5.3 million


January 2018

5.7 million


December 2017

6.6 million


November 2017

8.1 million


October 2017

12.3 million


September 2017

10.9 million


August 2017

23.5 million


July 2017

25.6 million


June 28, 2017

42.2 million


June 1, 2017

47.7 million


May 2017

50.3 million


April 2017

54.8 million


March 2017

58.0 million


February 2017

49.6 million


Data source: Qualcomm.

What's new?

That's a big swing in favor of the NXP-Qualcomm merger. The share count grew nearly tenfold last week and almost doubled again this week. Keep this up and Qualcomm may soon have the required 70% commitment it needs in order to close the deal. Boosting the buyout price from $110 to $127.50 per share can do that to a languishing tender offer.

There was no new commentary on the regulatory approval process in China, neither in the March 5 update nor the March 9 version. As a reminder, European regulators gave their final thumbs-up in January, and South Korea followed the European template very quickly. At this point, only China's approval remains before Qualcomm can complete its NXP buyout in a big play for the automotive computing industry.

The new offer will expire at the close of business on March 16, giving us another week to digest these numbers. The renewals are coming fast and furious these days as Qualcomm sees the light at the end of a 17-month tunnel.

Two men holding up large puzzle pieces, one featuring Qualcomm's corporate logo and the other blazoned with the NXP equivalent.

Image source: Getty Images, Qualcomm, and NXP Semiconductors, edited by the author.

What's next?

Though the tender offer renewal was light on additional detail, Qualcomm's deal-making is certainly in the spotlight right now. The company's hostile takeover offer from Broadcom (AVGO 7.59%) is still on the table, though Broadcom lowered its offer from $79 to $76 per Qualcomm share.

The matter was supposed to have settled in a shareholder vote at its annual meeting on March 6, but Qualcomm moved this event to April 5. The U.S. Committee on Foreign Investment ordered Qualcomm to hold its horses for 30 days so the regulatory Treasury Department group could review Broadcom's deal terms in depth. Both the delay and the review are seen as bad news for Singapore-based Broadcom's chances of closing its Qualcomm offer.

In other filings and open letters, the two companies continue to extend various unconvincing olive branches, all of which have been slapped away with angry rhetoric.

At the end of the day, I expect the Qualcomm-NXP merger to close in short order, but the Broadcom deal is not looking good. Putting that scrambled offer back together would count as a minor miracle at this point.