Sending a huge buzz across the financial and IT world earlier today, Japanese Intenet and telcommunications giant Softbank Group has announced that it has agreed to acquire the UK chip company ARM for GBP 24 billion (about RM 126 billion). While the deal is still subject to authorities’ approval, the massive deal will position ARM as a subsidiary of SoftBank once it is finalized.
Based in Cambridge, ARM doesn’t manufacture its own processors but license its design to other companies including AMD, Apple, Qualcomm, Huawei’s HiSilicon, Samsung, and many more. Since ARM-based chips pretty much dominated the mobile space including smartphones and tablet, this made intellectual property as one of ARM’s strongest and most valuable asset.
As for SoftBank, major multi-billion deal such as this is nothing new to the company though. In 2013, the company has successfully purchased a major part of US telco Sprint for USD 20.1 billion (about RM 79.9 billion) before increasing its ownership of the telco to 80% within the same year. Not to forget, SoftBank also owned 73% of Supercell (the company behind Clash of Clans and Clash Royale) but decided to sold it off to Tencent earlier this year.
In the acquisition announcement, ARM will continue to be based in UK and SoftBank has agreed to provide necessary resources to increase the amount of staff within ARM. Additionally, SoftBank is also committed to maintain ARM’s existing culture and business model. With that, one can expect that it will still be business as usual at ARM even though when it became part of SoftBank in the near future.