SoftBank is preparing for filing an initial public offering for Arm as an alternative to the Nvidia takeover
In a surprising turn of events, Nvidia Corp’s anticipated $40 billion acquisition of UK-based ARM Ltd from SoftBank is likely to fall through as it has failed to receive considerable approval to go ahead with the deal.
Various reports by Bloomberg have said while citing sources close to the development that Nvidia has told partners that it doesn’t expect the transaction to close.
In the meantime, SoftBank is preparing for filing an initial public offering for Arm as an alternative to the Nvidia takeover, another person said.
The acquisition has been facing fierce resistance from various fronts. Regulators have been against it, while Nvidia’s competitors have also expressed how the acquisition could lead to Arm favouring the company with its technology over other clients. As per reports, China too has been displeased with the development with authorities inclined to block the takeover if it wins approvals elsewhere.
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission also sued to stop the transaction in December, arguing that Nvidia would become too powerful if it gained control over Arm’s chip designs.
The sale of Arm is under heavy scrutiny because its chip designs are used in everything from phones to cars to factory equipment, making neutrality the foundation of its business model. The world’s biggest tech companies rely on Arm technology, and they fear they could lose unfettered access under Nvidia.
Both Nvidia and Arm’s leadership are still pleading their case to regulators, according to the people, and no final decisions have been made. And through it all, the companies have publicly maintained their commitment to the purchase.
“We continue to hold the views expressed in detail in our latest regulatory filings — that this transaction provides an opportunity to accelerate Arm and boost competition and innovation,” Nvidia spokesman Bob Sherbin said.
SoftBank and Arm are entitled to keep $2 billion Nvidia paid at signing, including a $1.25 billion breakup fee, whether the deal goes through or not.