Broadcom-Emulex: Failure rewarded?

Contact: Brenon Daly

Is this a case of the market rewarding failure? Since Broadcom unveiled its now-aborted bid for Emulex, shares of both companies have outperformed the Nasdaq. That bull run stands in sharp contrast to the performance of firms that have been involved in other unsolicited efforts, as we noted when Broadcom first started squeezing Emulex. Broadcom took its unsolicited offer public for its fellow southern California-based vendor on April 21. Initially, Broadcom was set to hand over $9.25 in cash for each share of Emulex, although last week it bumped the bid up to $11 per share. That’s not a bad premium for Emulex, which had spent much of the year trading at around $6.

Of course, it’s not surprising that Emulex shares would be trading higher, given the ‘floor’ valuation that Broadcom put on the company. (On Friday morning, Emulex stock was changing hands at around $9, just slightly below Broadcom’s opening bid.) On the other side, Broadcom stock has slightly outperformed the broader market over the two and a half months that it has been trying to land Emulex. On Thursday, Broadcom gave up its effort. In a brief release explaining the abandoned bid, Broadcom CEO Scott McGregor said the company would now look at other ‘value-creating alternatives.’ Like, say, an unsolicited run at another company?