SoftBank kills sale of Arm Ltd. to Nvidia over regulatory hurdles; will IPO instead

SoftBank has killed its attempt to sell Arm Ltd. to U.S. chipmaker Nvidia valued at up to $80 billion over regulatory hurdles and will instead seek to take Arm public in a high profile IPO.

Arm Ltd. logo

Jane Lanhee Lee and Josh Horwitz for Reuters:

Britain’s Arm, which named a new CEO on Tuesday, said it would go public before March 2023 and SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son indicated that would be in the United States, most likely the Nasdaq.

SoftBank acquired Arm, whose technology powers Apple’s iPhone and nearly all other smartphones, in 2016 for $32 billion…

On a company earnings call on Tuesday, SoftBank CEO Son, who had said the company initially considered listing Arm but opted to sell it instead due to the pandemic, sought to put a positive spin on the scrapped sale. He said… it would be the most significant IPO the chip industry has ever seen.

The collapse of the deal underscores again the difficulty that companies face in convincing antitrust regulators and governments to approve large tech deals, especially in the semiconductor industry.

Last week, a $5 billion deal between Taiwan GlobalWafers and German chip supplier Siltronic fell apart after German regulators failed to approve it on time.

In 2018, Qualcomm walked away from a $44 billion deal to buy NXP Semiconductors after failing to secure Chinese regulatory approval, and former U.S. President Donald Trump blocked microchip maker Broadcom’s proposed takeover of Qualcomm.

MacDailyNews Take: Welcome, Next Big IPO™.

This is a long way from being a done deal as the regulatory approvals are numerous.MacDailyNews, September 14, 2020

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  1. They can always go IPO via SPAC, it is the best way to IPO to get around some of the encyclopedia sized regulations for IPO. But it would have to be one hell of a big SPAC (and if they did, who ever owns that SPAC would hit the jackpot).
    Supposedly AMD’s 35 Billion dollar acquisition of Xilinx is all but a done deal. So BFD mergers do actually get approved and happen.

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