Nvidia Corp. is quietly preparing to abandon its purchase of Arm Ltd. from SoftBank Group Corp. after making little to no progress in winning approval for the $40 billion chip deal, according to people familiar with the matter.
Nvidia has told partners that it doesn’t expect the transaction to close, according to one person, who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private. SoftBank, meanwhile, is stepping up preparations for an Arm initial public offering as an alternative to the Nvidia takeover, another person said.
Look, Nvidia is obviously far from perfect, but the alternatives seem far, far worse. Would you want Arm to end up at Google, Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, or one of the big Chinese players? I’m simply afraid an independent Arm will end up in far worse arms a few years down the line than Nvidia.
The time to fix this… was many years ago.
When SoftBank acquired ARM, nobody questioned the deal back in the day. However their operations do occasionally sell off assets. And especially more so when their actual investors (big national sovereign funds) want to withdraw monies.
So, today they have to find someone, anyone, who can pay $40 billion.
Of course that list is pretty narrow. They can try to go public, but that is even less likely to bring the required funds.
To be honest, the only two players with minimum impact would be AMD and Intel. Not any of the ARM customers like Qualcomm, Samsung, or Microsoft.
Whatever happens, this situation is not very good. Or rather, not good at all.