May 28, 2022

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SoftBank’s $40B deal to sell Arm to Nvidia reportedly collapses


James Martin/CNET

SoftBank’s deal to sell chipmaker Arm to Nvidia has collapsed and will instead pursue an IPO for Arm that could be worth as much as $80 billion, the Financial Times reported Monday.

Japanese tech giant SoftBank agreed to sell Arm to Nvidia for $40 billion in September 2020 as part of the chip industry’s largest deal ever but has struggled to win regulatory approval. The US Federal Trade Commission sued to block Nvidia’s takeover, arguing that it would harm competition, and the UK government opened an investigation into the deal.

Arm isn’t as well known as chipmakers Qualcomm and Intel, but its work lies behind the processors inside many of the world’s mobile phones because it licenses chip designs and related technology to companies like Apple, Samsung and Qualcomm. 

SoftBank purchased the UK-based Arm in 2016 for $32 billion with the intent of bolstering its internet of things division. Nvidia had said it expected the tie-up to boost its artificial intelligence ambitions.

Arm CEO Simon Segars has indicated he plans to resign and hand the job to president Rene Haas, a source told Reuters.

Representatives for SoftBank, Nvidia and Arm didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

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