Arm sale collapses

1 min read

SoftBank has announced that it has called off its planned sale of microchip designer Arm to Nvidia.

First announced in September 2020 the deal was valued at almost £30bn £29.6bn) but has faced major regulatory hurdles in the UK, United States and European Union.

As a result SoftBank will look to float Arm's shares on the stock market by the end of March next year.

In a statement, SoftBank and Nvidia said that they had agreed to end the sale agreement, "because of significant regulatory challenges preventing the consummation of the transaction, despite good faith efforts by the parties.”

"We will take this opportunity and start preparing to take Arm public, and to make even further progress," SoftBank's chief executive Masayoshi Son added.

In December, the US Federal Trade Commission sued to block the buyout arguing that competition in the microprocessors market for the likes of self-driving cars and a new category of networking chips could be hurt if Nvidia acquired Arm. The takeover was also being examined by UK and EU regulators.

As a result of the deal's collapse, Arm's chief executive Simon Segars, has stepped down and is to be replaced by Rene Haas, who most recently served as president of intellectual property at Arm.

“Rene is the right leader to accelerate Arm’s growth as the company starts making preparations to re-enter the public markets,” said Son. “I would like to thank Simon for his leadership, contributions and dedication to Arm over the past 30 years.”

“It is an honour to lead the world’s most influential technology company at a time when Arm’s market opportunity has never been greater,” said Haas. “As the innovators of the industry’s most pervasive compute architecture, we are now uniquely positioned to address the diverse demands of AI, cloud, IoT, automotive and the Metaverse. And with the uncertainty of the past several months behind us, we are emboldened by a renewed energy to move into a growth strategy and change lives around the world - again.”

Haas has served as president of the Arm IP Products Group (IPG) since 2017. Under his leadership, IPG increased investment in the industry’s largest software developer ecosystem as well as products for growth markets such as infrastructure and automotive. These investments have resulted in new entrants to the Arm ecosystem including Alibaba, Ampere, AWS, Bosch, Denso, Mobileye and Telechips, and have the company on track to achieve record royalty revenue, licensing revenue and profits in the current financial year.