Graphics chipmaker Nvidia is reportedly in “advanced talks” to acquire Arm Holdings, which if completed, could be the largest deal to date in the semiconductor industry.
It was reported earlier in July that SoftBank, the company that owns Arm Holdings, was mulling a sale or initial public offering of the chip design company.
Following subsequent reports that Nvidia was interested in acquiring the SoftBank-owned company, Bloomberg reported on Friday that the chipmaker was in “advanced talks” to buy Arm Holdings. More than that, the company was said to be the only firm in that stage of the negotiation.
Nvidia is already the largest graphics chipmaker in the world, and a purchase of Arm Holdings could propel the company to become a significant player in the silicon industry. SoftBank and Nvidia plan to reach a deal within the next few weeks.
A purchase of Arm Holdings would be the largest deal to date in the semiconductor industry, with Bloomberg reporting that an IPO of the company could be worth $44 billion. Previously, the largest-ever deal in the chipmaking industry was in 2015, when Avago merged with Broadcom in a $37 billion deal. It’s likely that companies which license the ARM instruction set will oppose the acquisition until assurances can be made that ARM will continue to be available to companies equally.
Concerns about antitrust were what originally resulted in SoftBank, a neutral party, acquiring Arm Holdings the last time it went up for sale.
The sale or IPO of Arm Holdings is significant to Apple because the Cupertino tech giant licenses the ARM instruction set for use in its own A-series chips. ARM-based technology will only get more important to Apple because of the transition to Apple Silicon in its Mac devices.
A report from earlier in July also indicated that SoftBank approached Apple about the possibility of a purchase. The Cupertino iPhone maker reportedly declined the bid.
Along with Apple, companies like Intel, Qualcomm, and AMD all license technology from Arm Holdings.