Japan’s Softbank Group is planning to acquire Britain’s ARM Holdings, one of the world’s largest chip makers, in a $32 billion all-cash deal, media reports said on Monday. The official announcement may be made on this later today.
If this announcement is made, then it would be Softbank’s largest ever acquisition, surpassing the Sprint acquisition in 2013 for $22 billion. It will also be the first Britain company to be acquired in less than a month of the country’s decision to exit the European Union or after Brexit.
The Cambridge headquartered ARM Holdings, makes chips and software for smartphones and is one of the biggest in the world with brands like Apple, Samsung, Huawei and HTC being its loyal customers besides many more. However, smartphones is not why Softbank eyes ARM. In Masayoshi Son, Softbank’s Founder’s words, the next paradigm shift in technology will come from technologies like the internet of things and Artificial intelligence – two areas where ARM has recently shifted its focus to.
Softbank’s interest in IoT can also be seen form a week-old announcement where internet of things firm Aeris and SoftBank have forged a partnership to offer IoT and telematics solutions to their global customers using Aeris IoT solutions platform. Both the companies have established a joint venture in Japan, known as Aeris Japan K.K.
With this association with SoftBank, Aeris plans to expand its business in Japan and beyond, including India, Europe and the United States. The JV aims at covering multiple market segments and offering a variety of services ranging from an IoT connectivity platform to IoT application middleware to complete IoT solutions for market segments including telematics in the automotive industry.
This ARM acquisition, the group’s biggest so far, comes in less than a month of Nikesh Arora’s exit, who so far was the head for Softbank’s investment strategy and, its CEO.
In the recent months, Softbank has been noticed raising funds, which industry observers are linking to pay up this deal. The Japanese firm recently sold Alibaba shares worth $10 billion and its entire stake in Finnish gaming firm Supercell.