— Since Paul Jacobs said his goodbyes to shareholders and the board of directors during Qualcomm Inc.’s annual shareholders meeting in March, the company’s former CEO and chairman of the board has been relatively quiet.

But his name has entered the business world’s limelight again following media reports that he’s continuing his plan to gather investors for a potential bid on Qualcomm in order to take the company private.

The plan, which he announced following the failed $117 billion takeover bid by Broadcom Ltd., also got him removed from the board of the company his father, Irwin Jacobs, co-founded.

‘A Real Longshot’

At the time, Jacobs’ plan was seen as far-fetched — it’s still being seen that way, according to some analysts.

“I think it’s a real longshot,” said Bob O’Donnell president and chief analyst of TECHnalysis Research LLC. “It would be very difficult to line up the amount of money he would need to do it.”

However, it’s possible, according to Stacy Rasgon, managing director and senior analyst at Bernstein, that if Jacobs can raise the money, Qualcomm shareholders would be willing to sell.

“They were ready to hand the business over to Hock (Hock Tan, CEO of Broadcom Ltd.),” Rasgon added.

Whatever Jacobs plans to offer for Qualcomm, Rasgon believes it will have to be more than the Broadcom offer.

“That makes the deal big,” he said.

When Broadcom offered $82 per share for Qualcomm, the board of directors, with Jacobs at the helm, said it woefully undervalued the company.

“How can you be chairman of the board (as Jacobs was at the time) and totally reject the Broadcom deal on the basis that it vastly undervalued (it) and then buy it himself for less,” Rasgon said.

Imagine the lawsuits, he added.


There are other companies that have gone from public to private.

San Diego-based Petco Animal Supplies Inc. has had a history of fluctuating from private to public.

Founded as a mail-order veterinary supplies business in 1965, Petco first went public in 1994 on the Nasdaq. In 2000, the retailer returned to private ownership in a leveraged buyout by Leonard Green & Partners and Texas Pacific Group (TPG).

Petco became publicly traded again in 2002, until 2006 when the company was taken private by a group of investors led by TPG, according to Petco’s company history.

Petco has continued to be privately-held since then. In 2016, CVC Capital Partners and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board acquired the company from (TPG) and Leonard Green & Partners for $4.6 billion.