Giant UK chip-maker ARM, bought by Japanese media conglomerate SoftBank in 2016 for £24.3 billion, (€27bn) is being bought by Nvidia for around $40 billion in a probable cash+shares transaction.
The deal will see Nvidia paying Softbank $21.5 billion in its own stock and $12bn in cash. Nvidia will follow with up to a further $5 billion in cash or stock if certain targets are met.
Cambridge, UK-based ARM makes chipsets for computers and smart phones and counts Apple and Samsung as its largest customers. Nvidia says it will maintain the company’s Cambridge, UK, base.
“ARM will remain headquartered in Cambridge,” said Nvidia’s chief executive Jensen Huang. “We will expand on this great site and build a world-class AI research facility, supporting developments in healthcare, life sciences, robotics, self-driving cars and other fields.”
SoftBank is disposing of assets in order to improve its own liquidity.
Nvidia, based in Santa Clara, California, is a well-known technology supplier of graphics processors used in PCs and cloud computing, as well as chip-sets for the AI, consumer electronics, mobile computing market and super-computer markets. Nvidia recently overtook Intel as the world’s most valuable chip-maker.
SoftBank had already been an investor in Nvidia (via SoftBank’s Vision Fund) but exited Nvidia in 2019.