Tuesday, July 14th 2020

SoftBank Reportedly Considering Selling Arm Holdings

According to the report from The Wall Street Journal, we have obtained information that SoftBank, owner of Arm Holdings, is considering a future of Arm Holdings without SoftBank's ownership. The report is indicating that SoftBank can either sell its subsidiary or make it go to public with Initial Public Offering (IPO). If we recall, SoftBank has purchased Arm Holdings in 2016 for 32 billion USD, and the company is potentially worth much more today. Arm Holdings was established as a joint between Acorn Computers, Apple Computer (now Apple Inc.), and VLSI Technology. The news of SoftBank selling Arm Holdings is coming just after Apple decided to make a Mac based on Arm ISA.

The report from WSJ says that the market interest for such acquisition is unknown, so there is a big possibility that SoftBank will ultimately do nothing and just keep the company. My speculations could be that Apple may have an interest in the company since it is using its royalties and intellectual property. If such a thing happens Apple would be forced to sign a deal by antitrust regulators that force the company to continue offering to license the ISA. After all, Apple was one of the founding members of the joint venture. The possibility of that is of course very low. If another option such as IPO happens, the company would still be in ownership of SoftBank, it would just go to the public trading market.
Source: The Wall Street Journal
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14 Comments on SoftBank Reportedly Considering Selling Arm Holdings

#1
john_
Maybe Softbank hopes that Apple will buy ARM now that it decided to go full ARM. By making this a public information maybe they hope to pocket much more money from Apple compared to talking in secret behind close doors. But maybe I am oversimplifying here.

I wonder if Intel could be interested in this. Even if they sell out 80-100 billions in money/shares they would end up with the two most widespread architectures on their property. The only case those money will go to the dust bin, is if companies turn to another option, like MIPS or something new.
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#2
zlobby
If true then Huawei may be very interested in doing some shopping.
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#3
R0H1T
If Softbank has any sense they'll hold on to ARM for as long as they possibly can. ARM is just entering the Server space now, there's a tremendous upside still.
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#4
Parn
zlobby
If true then Huawei may be very interested in doing some shopping.
I doubt it. Huawei need help with both ARM architecture licensing as well as silicon manufacturing. Acquiring ARM alone won't make any difference.
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#5
john_
Also the US will never let SoftBank sell to Huawei. And SoftBank is an investment group or something, if I am not mistaken. No matter how much money Huawei/Chinese government will offer them, the damages that will follow in US and other countries that do what US says them to do, will be much greater.
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#6
lexluthermiester
Nothing good can come from Apple buying ARM. Very bad joo joo..
john_
Also the US will never let SoftBank sell to Huawei.
This. Huawei would also be very bad for ARM.
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#7
XiGMAKiD
Apple, the buyer is Apple
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#8
zlobby
Parn
I doubt it. Huawei need help with both ARM architecture licensing as well as silicon manufacturing. Acquiring ARM alone won't make any difference.
It can prevent others from using it, i.e. stop licensing, or help them raise some cash for opening their own fab.
john_
Also the US will never let SoftBank sell to Huawei.
Last time I checked SoftBank could afford to give the US govt the finger.
Question is will they want to? On one side, they don't really like the US since the nukes, but on the other - they also hate the Chinese. As if there are such things like love and hate in business.
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#9
Parn
zlobby
It can prevent others from using it, i.e. stop licensing, or help them raise some cash for opening their own fab.
That would be a dick move affecting the whole tech industry and really destroy the public image of Huawei.

Money isn't the reason why Huawei don't have their own fab.
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#10
Ashtr1x
Very stupid move. ARM sees lot of money because Mobile, that one single reason is enough to say selling this is NEVER a good idea, esp to Softbank and Japan. Losing one of the top echelons in the computing is a suicide. Toshiba did a mistake with Nuclear Power and lost it's memory technology to Kioxia which is basically a group of companies. Softbank should never do this, a big mistake like WeWork disaster in opposite.
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#11
zlobby
Ashtr1x
Very stupid move. ARM sees lot of money because Mobile, that one single reason is enough to say selling this is NEVER a good idea, esp to Softbank and Japan. Losing one of the top echelons in the computing is a suicide. Toshiba did a mistake with Nuclear Power and lost it's memory technology to Kioxia which is basically a group of companies. Softbank should never do this, a big mistake like WeWork disaster in opposite.
I'm pretty sure some guy at SoftBank didn't just wake up one morning and decided 'Hey, why don't we sell ARM?' Then again, to err is human...
Parn
That would be a dick move affecting the whole tech industry and really destroy the public image of Huawei.

Money isn't the reason why Huawei don't have their own fab.
It would be, but it's not out of the realm of possibilities.
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#12
rvalencia
zlobby
It can prevent others from using it, i.e. stop licensing, or help them raise some cash for opening their own fab.


Last time I checked SoftBank could afford to give the US govt the finger.
Question is will they want to? On one side, they don't really like the US since the nukes, but on the other - they also hate the Chinese. As if there are such things like love and hate in business.
The last time I check, Japan is a co-developer with US's Aegis ABM system.
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#13
zlobby
rvalencia
The last time I check, Japan is a co-developer with US's Aegis ABM system.
Tinfoil hats on. And it's full of backdoors? :D Couldn't help it...
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#14
TechLurker
I suspect this was just unofficial watercooler talk; like they've discussed it just for financial planning reasons but haven't seriously considered doing so. ARM is currently a hot bit of IP to own, what with Amazon, Google, Apple and others going all-in on ARM-based chips for their respective products (servers, tablets, phones, etc). If anything, I feel they're more likely to go public, to make even more cash off interested stock holders, while still retaining controlling majority stake on it.
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