Japanese based Softbank has just acquired United Kingdom’s ARM for £24.3 billion, or $31.4 USD billion in cash. The corporate headquarters will continue to be based in Cambridge, England and they say the upper management will not change, but whenever there is a big sale it is only a matter of time before trusted Softbank executives are installed.
According to Engadget “Softbank has been freeing up cash lately through a variety of deals. It recently sold Clash of Clans maker Supercell to Tencent for a reported $8.6 billion, and cashed in $10 billion worth of shares in the Chinese retail giant Alibaba. The company owns US carrier Sprint, 28 percent of China’s Alibaba and the Japanese divisions of Yahoo and Vodafone. All told, it has participated in 140 deals worth over $82 billion in the last 10 years, according to the Financial Times.”
ARM has their technology in almost every smartphone, and has existing relationships with major companies. Over 15 million devices were shipped last year using ARM tech and they are bullish about powering the internet of things.
I think Softbank saw ARM as a juicy target because of the UK’s recent decision to leave the European Union and this has created uncertainties in the market. The Pound Stirling has declined over 28 percent against the Japanese Yen, which is why this entire deal had really good timing.
The two biggest players in the semi-conductor industry were both sold within the last calendar year. In 2015 NXP Semiconductor purchased Freescale, who powers the entire e-reader industry.