Nvidia is in Talks to Acquire Arm

Posted on July 31, 2020 by Paul Thurrott in Hardware, Mobile with 35 Comments

A Financial Times report claims that Nvidia is in talks to acquire chipset designer Arm from SoftBank in a deal valued at over $32 billion. The report cites multiple sources.

According to the publication, Nvidia first approached SoftBank about two months ago after it learned that the latter firm was interested in selling off its Arm assets. It also notes that the talks could fall through, with SoftBank retaining Arm, as there are “a number of issues pertaining to a deal that would need to be resolved.”

SoftBank acquired Arm in 2016 and paid $32 billion for the firm. Arm’s current value is expected to be higher than that, so the $32 billion figure is a guess at the minimum asking price today. I could imagine Arm being worth more than $40 billion.

An Nvidia deal makes sense, though Nvidia is a relatively small company compared to the other obvious suitor, Intel. But like Intel, Nvidia’s business has been transforming in recent years from being PC-centric to being datacenter-centric. And while Arm’s designs may never see mainstream success on the PC, they will absolutely take over the datacenter market thanks to the chips’ lower power requirements and other efficiency advantages.

A Bloomberg report confirms the talks, and adds that the “two parties aim to reach a deal in the next few weeks” and that “Nvidia is the only suitor in concrete discussions with SoftBank.”

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