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Qorvo and Skyworks Weigh Bids for Broadcom’s RF Chip Unit

Ed Hammond, Liana Baker and Ian King

(Bloomberg) -- Semiconductor makers Qorvo Inc. and Skyworks Solutions Inc. are weighing bids for Broadcom Inc.’s wireless-chip business, which could fetch about $10 billion in a sale, according to people familiar with the matter.

Other potential buyers could be interested, said the people, who asked to not be identified because the matter isn’t public. The unit makes radio-frequency, or RF, chips.

A final decision hasn’t been made and Qorvo and Skyworks may opt not to proceed with offers, they said.

A representative for Broadcom declined to comment. Representatives for Qorvo and Skyworks didn’t respond to requests for comment.

Broadcom on Thursday disclosed new agreements to provide components for Apple Inc. devices for several years. The disclosure lets potential acquirers of the radio frequency unit know that they’re buying into a substantial business relationship with Cupertino, California-based Apple.

The potential sale comes as Broadcom Chief Executive Officer Hock Tan -- fresh off a $10.7 billion takeover of Symantec Corp.’s security software unit -- seeks to focus on businesses with strong share in profitable markets that don’t require excessive investment. He’s jettisoning components that don’t fit that plan. Broadcom agreed to sell a cybersecurity services business this month to Accenture Plc.

The RF unit’s chips are used to filter and amplify radio frequency signals. Its filters also let wireless communications systems support a large number of subscribers at the same time by ensuring that voice and data streams don’t interfere with each other.

The Wall Street Journal reported in December that Broadcom was seeking a buyer for the division.

To contact the reporters on this story: Ed Hammond in New York at ehammond12@bloomberg.net;Liana Baker in New York at lbaker75@bloomberg.net;Ian King in San Francisco at ianking@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Liana Baker at lbaker75@bloomberg.net, ;Alistair Barr at abarr18@bloomberg.net, Matthew Monks, Michael Hytha

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