SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son seeking ‘strategic alliance’ between chipmaker Arm and Samsung

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  • SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son said he is seeking a “strategic alliance” between the chipmaker arm, which is owned by the Japanese giant, and South Korean tech conglomerate Samsung.
  • Son has been weighing options for Arm since SoftBank acquired it in 2016 and after Nvidia walked away from buying the chipmaker this year.
  • Options include an initial public offering or a consortium of investors taking a stake in the arm.

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SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son said he is seeking a “strategic alliance” between the chipmaker arm, which is owned by the Japanese giant, and South Korean tech conglomerate Samsung.

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“I intend to go to Korea. I look forward to visiting Korea for the first time in three years. I look forward to talking with Samsung about the strategic alliance with Arm,” Son said in a statement.

No further details were given by SoftBank as to what a strategic alliance would entail, but it could mark a major change in strategy for Son and his approach to Arm.

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Samsung declined to comment when contacted by CNBC.

SoftBank acquired UK-headquartered Arm, one of the world’s most important chip makers, in 2016 and Son has since said it is important to the company’s long-term outlook as more and more devices are connected to the Internet. Huh.

Since then, SoftBank has tried to sell hands to chipmaker Nvidia, but the deal fell through in February.

Son is now pushing toward a public listing for Arm, preferably in New York. But the UK government wants Arm to be listed in London. SoftBank wants to hold a majority stake in Arm after the initial public offering.

Samsung Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong said on Wednesday that he plans to meet Son when he visits South Korea, according to a report in The Korea Herald.

Lee said Son “could come up with such a proposal” about Arm, but acknowledged that he “has no idea what he is”, according to statements reported by the Korea Herald.

Arm’s chip architecture is behind many of the world’s smartphone processors, including those from Apple and Samsung.

Other companies have also been asked to be interested in buying a stake in Arm. Cristiano Amon, CEO of US chipmaker Qualcomm, said the company is a “party interested in investing” in Arm earlier this year.

There has also been speculation about a consortium model, with several companies being part of a group investing in Arm.

SoftBank is under pressure to monetize Arm after its flagship tech investment business, Vision Fund, posted record losses in its last fiscal year. SoftBank sold its entire stake in US ride hailing company Uber in the second quarter and downgraded its stake in Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba to raise cash.

Credit: www.cnbc.com /

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