Penang-born Tan behind US$100b company moving to US

KUALA LUMPUR: Singapore is no doubt feeling the pinch of recent news that Broadcom Ltd will be relocating its legal address to the US.

However, on this side of the Causeway, Malaysians are curious over the fact that one Tan Hock Eng, the man helming the US$100bil semiconductor giant, is actually one of their own.

On Thursday, US President Donald Trump announced that Broadcom  would be relocating its legal address from Singapore to the US.

The move, which would return US$20bil in revenue to the US, is reportedly to faciliate a takeover of US network provider Brocade Communications Systems.  

By becoming a US-based company, Broadcom's deal would no longer be scrutinised by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the US.

Following Trump's announcement, Tan was invited to the podium, where the Penangite remarked his wonder at standing at the White House.

"Let me say my mother could never have imagined that one day her son would be here in the oval office in the White House standing beside the President of the United States," he quipped. 

Tan, an MBA degree holder from Harvard University, worked with Tan Sri Quek Leng Chan as managing director of Hume Industries in Malaysia from 1983 to 1988 before helming a venture capital fund in Singapore from 1988 to 1992. 

According to reports, the 65-year-old also held financial positions at General Motors Co and PepsiCo Inc before joining the technology sector at Commodore International Ltd. 

He went on to become the chief operating officer of Integrated Circuit Sytems Inc. When this company was sold to Integrated Device Technology Inc, he became the latter company's chairman. 

Avago was created following a US$2.66bil buyout of Integrated Circuit Systems in 2005 by private equity firms Silver Lake and KKR & Co. Tan was hired to lead the company as chief executive.

In 2015, Tan merged the company with Broadcom Corp following a US$37bil acquisition, leading to the creation of Broadcom Ltd, which manufactures products that span computer and telecommunication networking.

In September 2017,  Broadcom opened its global distribution warehouse at Batu Kawan Industrial Park in Penang with plans to invest RM4.1bil to expand its entire supply chain operations in Malaysia over the next 10 years.

Its exports are expected to hit RM65bil in 2018, making it the country's biggest semiconductor and electronic exporter.



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