Core things reported on July 23 that there has been new progress in the sale of Arm by Japan’s SoftBank Group.
According to the US media Bloomberg, citing people familiar with the matter, US chip design company NVIDIA has been in talks in recent weeks about its intention to acquire Arm, and other potential bidders may also emerge.
Arm licenses its architecture for the vast majority of mobile processors in the world, and has become the chip standard for almost all mainstream smartphones in the mobile Internet era. Earlier, Apple just announced that it will gradually develop its own Arm chips for its Mac computers in the next two years. The Japanese supercomputing “Fu Yue” also topped the latest global supercomputing 500 list.
Arm is owned by SoftBank and its $100 billion Vision Fund. In 2016, SoftBank bought British chip designer Arm for $32 billion.
Some time ago, SoftBank has been selling some of its valuable assets, including some of its stake in Alibaba and most of its stake in wireless operator T-Mobile US, to cushion its cash reserves in an effort to withstand economic pressure from the spread of the new crown epidemic.
On July 14, foreign media reported that SoftBank is studying various options, selling some or all of Arm’s shares, or relisting Arm through an initial public offering (IPO).
For NVIDIA, if it can successfully acquire Arm, it will have the absolute chip right to speak in most mobile phones and tablet computers, and have a certain ecology in some computer and server fields.
According to Bloomberg speculation, the acquisition of Arm could be the largest acquisition ever in the chip industry. The Philadelphia Stock Exchange semiconductor Index has risen 185% since SoftBank bought Arm.
SoftBank’s Vision Fund was previously one of Nvidia’s largest investors, buying a $4 billion stake in Nvidia in 2017, but in early 2019, the Vision Fund had sold all of Nvidia’s stock.
Thanks to the development of emerging markets such as AI and autonomous driving, Nvidia’s share price and market value have soared since 2016. When it was first listed in 1999, its market value was only $230 million, and its share price was only single digits. Before 2016, its share price never exceeded At $40, the stock price will exceed $400 by 2020, making it one of the hottest star companies in the technology industry.
After the close on July 8, 2020, U.S. time, Nvidia surpassed Intel for the first time with a market value of $251.314 billion, becoming the highest market value in the United States and the third-largest chip company in the world after TSMC and Samsung. The latest data shows that as of yesterday’s close, Nvidia’s stock price rose 1.07% to $417.55, with a total market value of $256.793 billion.
People familiar with the matter also mentioned that Nvidia’s interest may not lead to a deal, after all, SoftBank is also considering another option – seeking an Arm listing.
SoftBank has also approached Apple about whether to consider acquiring Arm, but Apple is not planning to make a bid due to Arm’s licensing requirements and potential regulatory issues, Bloomberg said.
This is mainly because Arm’s licensing business is incompatible with Apple’s hardware and software business model. In addition, there may be regulatory concerns if Apple has a key licensor that supplies numerous competitors.
Most critically, companies currently using Arm technology would also not be in favor of a deal that would not continue to make Arm instruction set licenses equally available to all parties.
SoftBank, Nvidia, Arm and Apple declined to comment.
With many chip companies relying on Arm’s instruction sets, cores and licenses, whoever Arm is expected to spend is likely to be subject to strict regulatory action.
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