Today, the Japanese firm SoftBank have announced that they have come to an agreement to acquire UK-based chip designer ARM Holdings for some $31 billion. The acquisition will be an all cash transaction in which SoftBank will purchase 1,412 million shares of ARM. The acquisition is a great one for SoftBank as ARM is unquestionably the dominant player in the mobile device chip market which continues to grow globally and with Internet of Things growth happening at the same time, the company is poised to be in an excellent position over the course of the next several years.
Masayoshi Son, Chairman and CEO of SBG, said: “We have long admired ARM as a world renowned and highly respected technology company that is by some distance the market-leader in its field. ARM will be an excellent strategic fit within the SoftBank group as we invest to capture the very significant opportunities provided by the “Internet of Things”.
Keep in mind that ARM does not itself produce chips. Rather, they license the Intellectual Property of their designs to others to produce the chips.
The list of customers that use ARM is impressive and includes those like Apple, Samsung, Microsoft, Huawei and many more. The chances are that your phone or tablet have some ARM designed
chips in them. So what, if any, impact does this have on the phone market? Likely very little that consumers will feel. Manufactures will have to work with SoftBank instead of ARM once the transaction is completed but there is likely very little that will change in the way of designs and getting that IP from the company. There is, as they say, a new boss in town and not much more.
You can read the full details of the acquisition on the SoftBank website. It is in Japanese but you can use Google Translate in Chrome to convert it over to English.