The sale of the British developer of processor architectures ARM to the graphics chip maker NVIDIA is an increasingly likely event.
Last month, The Wall Street Journal reported that Japanese telecom giant SoftBank is considering selling part or all of ARM Holdings’ business. Initially, Apple was named among potential buyers, which is quite logical, given the upcoming transition of the Cupertin giant from Intel processors to its own CPUs based on ARM architecture, and then unexpected reports appeared that NVIDIA was interested in buying assets.
So, if earlier it was reported about NVIDIA’s preliminary intentions to study the deal on the possible purchase of ARM, now it is already said that everything is serious. Allegedly, negotiations between the parties have reached a new level and an announcement of a potential deal of the year may be announced in the next couple of weeks. According to preliminary data, the deal will amount to more than $ 32 billion.
Alas, there is still no complete clarity about what exactly the deal will turn out to be. Initially, it was reported that along with the sale of part or all of ARM Holdings’ business, SoftBank holding is considering an initial public offering (IPO). According to the Nikkei, SoftBank’s board of directors still does not rule out an IPO. In addition, it is reported that ARM is no longer considered under SoftBank’s asset optimization program to raise $ 41 billion for share buybacks.
Among other options for developing ARM’s business, the SoftBank management is considering the possibility of concluding a bilateral deal – acquiring a stake in NVIDIA, as well as merging NVIDIA and ARM through a share exchange procedure, after which SoftBank will become the main shareholder of the combined company.
Be that as it may, any of the transactions, given the position of ARM and NVIDIA, will be subject to serious scrutiny by the antitrust authorities.
Recall that SoftBank bought the British developer of processor architectures ARM in 2016 for $ 31 billion, which became the largest ever IT deal in Europe. ARM Holdings is now part of the holding’s $ 100 billion Vision Fund. The Vision Fund was previously one of NVIDIA’s largest investors, but at the beginning of last year it sold all of its shares for a total of $ 3.6 billion.
Source: Bloomberg and Nikkei