Automotive & Transportation

SoftBank Agrees to Buy ARM for $32 Billion

18 July 2016

In yet another blockbuster deal for the electronics industry, ARM Holdings will be acquired by Japanese technology provider SoftBank Group.

ARM has its semiconductors and software in virtually all of the mobile products world, including processor and graphics technologies used by Apple, Samsung, Huawei and many others. The company also has strong ties to the automotive market and more recently has been pushing its products into devices for the Internet of Things (IoT).

ARM has been expanding its low-power ARM chips in order to become a more substantial player in the IoT market, which some view as the next great electronics opportunity as it can connect anything to the Internet to make it a “smart” device. Over the past year, ARM has made a number of acquisitions and investments in order to bolster its IoT presence.

SoftBank, which also owns U.S. telecommunications vendor Sprint, has been looking to expand into the IoT and ARM’s intellectual property works not in just smartphones (its technology is used in 95% of smartphones) but also digital cameras, augmented reality, biometric sensors, drones, smart watches and much more.

“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,” says Masayoshi Son, Chairman and CEO of SoftBank.

The SoftBank acquisition is the latest in a string of mega-deals in the semiconductor and electronics industry that has recently included Dell buying EMC for $67 billion, Nokia buying Alcatel-Lucent for $17.3 billion, Intel’s acquisition of Altera for $16.7 billion, the $19 billion deal for SanDisk by Western Digital, Avago’s $37 billion deal for Broadcom, NXP’s $11.8 billion buying of Freescale and many more.

If the deal is approved, it will be one of the largest technology acquisitions in European history as ARM is the largest London-listed technology company by market value.

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