August 1, 2018 / 10:19 AM / in 4 months

Hedge fund manager Elliott cuts NXP exposure after Qualcomm deal fails

FILE PHOTO: A man works on a tent for NXP Semiconductors at Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S. on January 4, 2015. REUTERS/Steve Marcus/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) - Hedge fund manager Elliott cut its stake in NXP Semiconductors (NXPI.O) after Qualcomm (QCOM.O), the world’s biggest maker of chips for mobile phones, called off a $44 billion deal to buy NXP last week, a recent filing with the U.S. regulator showed.

Activist Elliott first announced a stake in NXP a year ago, launching a campaign to push for a higher price tag in the Qualcomm deal, which drove the bid up from $38 billion.

Qualcomm’s acquisition of NXP failed when the Chinese regulator refused to approve the deal by a deadline on June 25.

China’s State Administration for Market Regulator said in a statement in Friday that proposals put forth by the firms to resolve antitrust concerns were insufficient, but it hoped to continue communication with Qualcomm.

Elliott reduced its position to 3.5 percent, from 5.5 percent, a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on July 31 showed. It is no longer NXP’s top shareholder.

An Elliott spokeswoman declined to comment.

Many hedge funds bought into NXP months ago in a bet the deal would succeed but investors and analysts had pointed to reasons to hold on to the stock.

Shares in NXP fell more than 6 percent after the deal collapsed but have since regained around 3 percent.

Reporting by Maiya Keidan

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