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Marvell Technology Group in Advanced Talks to Combine With Cavium

Marvell Technology headquarters in Santa Clara, Calif.

As of Friday, Cavium had a market value of $4.6 billion. Marvell’s was around $9 billion.

Marvell is based in Bermuda but run from Santa Clara, Calif. Its chips are used primarily in storage devices, printers and wireless products, and can be found in cars. The company had long been run by husband-and-wife co-founders Sehat Sutardja, who was chairman and chief executive, and Weili Dai, who was president.

Last year, activist investor Starboard Value LP took a 6.7% stake in Marvell and pushed for the company to cut costs and consider exiting its mobile-devices business. Marvell initiated a restructuring that would eliminate around 900 employees, or approximately 16% of its workforce. It also hired a new CEO to run the company.

Cavium, based in San Jose, Calif., makes products that are used for networking, data-center and wireless applications.

While global deal making is down 11% year-to-date compared with the same period last year, technology M&A has been particularly slow. There have been $347 billion in announced technology deals, according to Dealogic. That is a 35% decrease from 2016.

But it may be heating up. Broadcom Ltd. is preparing a bid to buy Qualcomm Inc. that could be valued at about $100 billion, people familiar with the matter said Friday.

Write to Dana Mattioli at dana.mattioli@wsj.com and Dana Cimilluca at dana.cimilluca@wsj.com


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