Whether it’s an iPhone or an Android device, your mobile phone is powered by ARM-based chips, and the company keeps improving their architecture. ARM is to mobile what Intel is to desktop when it comes to chips, and it’s the reason why you don’t see Intel dominating the mobile business. With all that in mind, it shouldn’t be surprising to hear that Japan’s SoftBank is ready to purchase ARM Holdings for more than $32 billion in an all-cash deal.
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As of Friday, ARM was valued at over $22 billion, which means SoftBank is paying a 43% premium on ARM’s Friday close.
Distinct reports from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Bloomberg all say that the two parties have agreed on the deal, making ARM SoftBanks largest acquisition to date. The deal, however, is yet to be officially announced.
The Japanese conglomerate acquired Sprint a few years ago. By buying ARM, SoftBank would be in a unique position where it would control a carrier and the largest mobile chip maker in the world.
ARM generates more than $1 billion in annual revenue by licensing its designs to chipmakers and may further grow in the future, as its chips get more powerful and more energy efficient. In 2015 alone, ARM’s customers shipped some 15 billion chips, but just under half of them went into mobile devices. Meanwhile, Intel has been struggling to get its chips into mobile devices, and especially the iPhone.
More details about SoftBank’s impending ARM acquisition are available at the source links below.
UPDATE: Business Insider notes that SoftBank has confirmed the $32 billion purchase of ARM.