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EXCLUSIVE: US chipmaker Nvidia closing in on deal to buy Arm by the end of the summer

Mark Shapland
ARM chip: ARM website
ARM chip: ARM website

THE race to buy up British tech giant ARM is hotting up with US chipmaket Nvidia entering exclusive talks, it emerged today.

Sources said a takeover, which could value the company which supplies technology to Apple at up to £40 billion, is on course to be complete by the end of the summer.

Cambridge-headquartered chip designer Arm was first put up for sale by its private equity Japanese owner Softbank back in April when Goldman Sachs was hired to sound out buyers.

Softbank was struggling and had posted heavy losses after trophy investments such as WeWork failed.

In April, Goldman approached Apple, which decided against buying the business. The bank then tried to put together a consortium including, Qualcomm, Samsung and Nvidia who would all take stakes in Arm, the Evening Standard understands.

But California based Nvidia has emerged as the sole interested buyer.

It is understood Softbank founder Masayoshi Son wants around £40 billion for the business, more than the £24 billion paid in 2016.

The deal may be looked harshly on by the British government who insisted Softbank keep Arm’s headquarters in the UK and increase the domestic workforce in 2016. It is unclear whether these measures would remain under Nvidia.

Nvidia chief executive Jense Huang
Nvidia chief executive Jense Huang

A deal could also cause tensions in the trade negotiations between the UK and Japan. The UK is looking to secure a quick trade deal with Japan ahead of leaving the European Union for good next year.

All parties declined to comment.

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