SoftBank hires Goldman Sachs to explore sale of Arm Holdings

SoftBank has hired Goldman Sachs to advise it on a potential IPO or sale of chip designer Arm Holdings which it acquired in 2016 for about $32 billion.

Apple's A12 is manufactured by TSMC using a 7 nm FinFET process
The Apple A12 SoC features an Apple-designed 64-bit ARMv8.3-A six-core CPU, with two high-performance cores running at 2.49 GHz called Vortex and four energy-efficient cores called Tempest. It is manufactured by TSMC using a 7 nm FinFET process.

Alex Sherman for CNBC:

SoftBank has hired Goldman Sachs to explore both an initial public offering and a sale of U.K. chip designer Arm Holdings, according to people familiar with the matter.

SoftBank has been preparing to spin out Arm in an IPO but has recently begun exploring sale options after receiving interest from an outside party, said two people, who asked not to be named because the discussions are private. It’s unclear if the outside company or entity is interested in buying all or just part of Arm…

Few companies could afford to buy all of Arm without intense regulatory scrutiny. Arm has found a niche as a neutral designer of the microprocessors that works with many of the largest equipment manufacturers, including the majority of the world’s smartphones. Apple, Samsung and Qualcomm all use Arm technology in various ways.

MacDailyNews Take: It will be interesting to see if SoftBank and Goldman Sachs find any additional suitors for Arm. Of course, there will be speculation that Apple, Google, Samsung, etc. will be interested.

The company was founded in November 1990 as Advanced RISC Machines (ARM) Ltd and structured as a joint venture between Acorn Computers, Apple, and VLSI Technology.

13 Comments

  1. I think the holdings would loose a lot of their value if Apple bought them. Apple competitors would not want to use a design owned by Apple, or have to pay Apple to compete with them.

    Oh well.

  2. Ah, I remember before the dark days when Apple owned a huge chunk of ARM. Then during the climb out from the dark days Apple slowly sold off its stake in ARM to supplement its cash flow to keep the climb out moving forward.

    It’s unfortunate that Apple had to do that. It would be even more interesting than it is if Apple were wtill a major owner in ARM.

  3. They are looking for a sucker who thinks the Apple’s chip is the same chip, but it’s not, also Apple probably has rights to do whatever they want with the chip being one of the original designers of the ARM chip.

  4. Am I the only one that thinks it would be best if Apple becomes just ne of several owners of ARM? What they want from ARM is a continued focus on hyper efficient general computing. Everything else they tack on themselves. A general consortium of owners would continue offering what Apple wants, esp if Apple gains 51% ownership.

    Apple can not afford, however, to let Qualcomm or Samsung take sole control—they would quickly freeze Apple out.

      1. Whatever helps you sleep at night honey. This does seem to be the new talking point from Apple haters. Buh buh buh without Company X Y or Z the iPhone wouldn’t exist. Okay sweetie. Calm down and have a cookie. You’ll feel better.

          1. “Requires ability to understand.”

            No. It requires the ability on your part to communicate a thought coherently. Your blind fan rage makes you incoherent.

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