Qualcomm postpones IPO of semiconductor unit

The telecommunications equipment maker pushes back plans for the initial public offering of its Spinco business, citing unfavorable market conditions.

Qualcomm said Thursday it will postpone plans for the initial public offering of its integrated system and software business, citing unfavorable market conditions.

The San Diego-based telecommunications equipment maker said it is pushing back the proposed offering until January.

The company filed in July with the Securities and Exchange Commission to take the business public. Investment firms Lehman Brothers and Goldman Sachs are managing the offering.

The division, also known as Spinco, represents a hefty chunk of Qualcomm's revenue--it handles the integrated circuit chip business, system software, high-data-rate (HDR) wireless Internet access technology, and a location-tracking product called SnapTrack.

Spinco represents the last in see story: Qualcomm stumbles a series of manufacturing and services businesses that Qualcomm has sold or spun off over the past two years. Spinco was an attempt by Qualcomm to gain better access to the intellectual property needed to make future multimode cellular phone chips capable of operating on most networks worldwide. The move also is intended to free the company to develop new businesses.

Qualcomm is slated to report fourth-quarter earnings later Thursday.