Speaking a Bloomberg conference on Wednesday, Paul Jacobs, who was CEO of Qualcomm until 2014 and chairman until March 2018, said that he's still considering a leveraged buyout attempt of the chip giant.
It's not the first time Jacobs has discussed the prospect. In March, he was removed from Qualcomm's board after disclosing an effort to explore taking the company private. Jacobs reportedly held talks with strategic investors and sovereign wealth funds shortly shortly after a proposed takeover by Broadcom was blocked by President Trump. Since his ouster from Qualcomm's board, Jacobs has launched a company called Xcom focusing on 5G wireless technology.
Jacobs said at the Bloomberg conference that "we're prepared if an opportunity arises" to take Qualcomm private, and also alluded to legal troubles and a lack of innovation damaging Qualcomm's value. Apple (AAPL - Get Report) and Qualcomm are locked in a nasty back-and-forth legal battle that dates back to 2017. In it, Qualcomm has accused Apple of stealing secrets to help Intel (INTC - Get Report) and Apple has sued Qualcomm for $1 billion in the U.S. for allegedly charging unfair royalties on its technology.
On Thursday, however, Qualcomm's CEO Steve Mollenkopf told Jim Cramer on CNBC's Mad Money that the company is nearing a resolution with Apple.
"The second half of this year and into next year is when we're really on the doorstep of finding a resolution and we don't see anything different than that," Mollenkopf said. Apple, for its part, had no intention of settling the Qualcomm dispute according to a Nov. 7 Reuters story.
Qualcomm also announced this week that it will dedicate at least $100 million to investments in AI and 5G technologies through its venture arm, Qualcomm Ventures. Qualcomm's past investments include Cruise Automation and a smattering of startups across machine learning, computer vision and IoT.
Qualcomm's stock was up 2.58% on Thursday.