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SoftBank rumoured to sell a chunk of ARM

SoftBank rumoured to sell a chunk of ARM

SoftBank is rumoured to be offloading 25 percent of ARM Holdings, less than a year after acquiring the company, to an investment group largely funded by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Japanese technology giant SoftBank may be looking to offload at least part of its recently-acquired ARM subsidiary, with plans to sell a quarter stake in the company to an investment fund create in partnership with the government of Saudi Arabia.

SoftBank acquired Cambridge-based processor designer ARM Holdings back in July last year in a deal valued at £24.3 billion, taking control of the company behind the processors in almost every smartphone and most embedded devices on the planet. At the time, SoftBank founder and chief executive Masayoshi Son stated that there would be little change at the coalface: ARM Holdings would keep its UK base with plans to double the workforce over the following five years, a commitment he failed to repeat in an open letter published when the deal closed in September last year.

Now, SoftBank may be looking at chopping ARM up and selling it off piecemeal, beginning with a claimed plan to sell a 25 percent stake in the company to a joint investment fund for £6.58 billion - an eight percent return on its original investment. The investment fund tipped as the recipient of the share is, interestingly enough, also a part of SoftBank: the SoftBank Vision Fund was announced by the company (PDF warning) in October last year, with SoftBank putting $25 billion up over a five year period and the Public Investment Fund of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (PIF) putting up a further $45 billion.

Rumours of the deal come courtesy unnamed sources speaking to the Financial Times, which claim that the company is using the ARM stake as part of its $25 billion commitment to the fund. Neither SoftBank nor ARM have confirmed nor denied the report.

16 Comments

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SMIFFYDUDE 9th March 2017, 12:42 Quote
Who didn't see this coming?
DC74 10th March 2017, 12:24 Quote
Typical, the government approves a takeover of a UK company by some foreign firm and suddenly it's being stripped and sold off in bits and pieces. Nice one Tories you put lots of UK jobs in danger, that'll do wonders for the economy won't it! :P
Wwhat 13th March 2017, 13:39 Quote
Seriously? Saudi Arabia? What the **** do they want with ARM? Ah wait there is a confusion and they think it's ''arms"

I actually did not have that conclusion in mind when I started typing, but when I did it suddenly became obvious.
Gareth Halfacree 13th March 2017, 13:48 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wwhat
Seriously? Saudi Arabia? What the **** do they want with ARM? Ah wait there is a confusion and they think it's ''arms"
I actually did not have that conclusion in mind when I started typing, but when I did it suddenly became obvious.

Err... I'm trying to find a non-racist interpretation of this post, and I'm struggling badly. You know that the Middle Eastern countries are some of the biggest investors in technology, right? Mostly on account of having a massive amount of oil money that they're only too aware is going to stop flowing Real Soon Now. Abu Dhabi owns the bulk of GlobalFoundries via the Advanced Technology Investment Company (ATIC), for a start - the deal which literally saved AMD (and which is now a bit of a millstone around its neck, but that's by-the-by.)

Saudi Arabia itself has put up the bulk of the money for the SoftBank Vision fund - as detailed in the article - as part of its Public Investment Fund, which has also invested $3.5 billion into Uber and $500 million into Riyadh-based would-be-Amazon-killer noon.com.

Here's a slightly outdated graph of Saudi technology investments, including Uber, Lyft, JetSmarter, JD.com, Wearable Intelligence, Aya Games, TaxiFood, SigFox (yes, the French wireless networking company), and the BitFury Group - a company which designs and builds high-performance ASICs for Bitcoin mining.
Wwhat 15th March 2017, 11:51 Quote
Yes unfortunately the oil gave the Saudi far too much wealth.
But do you realize that Saudi Arabia has one of the biggest military budgets in the world? Second place I think? And that they are engaged in a war?
And I'm not sure why you throw in the rest of the middle east, perhaps you are racist and can't see a difference between the regional people? Oh well, I forgive you.
Gareth Halfacree 15th March 2017, 12:04 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wwhat
Yes unfortunately the oil gave the Saudi far too much wealth.
But do you realize that Saudi Arabia has one of the biggest military budgets in the world? Second place I think? And that they are engaged in a war?
You think wrong (and what a surprise that might be): Saudi is in a very distant third place in military spending with $87.2 billion spent in 2015; China is above it with $215 billion, which you may note is more than twice as much, and the US tops the table with $596 billion.

So, I'm sure there's a non-racial reason why you'd assume Saudi Arabia would only buy a technology company if it got confused between ARM and arms, but not assume the same of China or the US. I look forward to reading it!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wwhat

And I'm not sure why you throw in the rest of the middle east, perhaps you are racist and can't see a difference between the regional people? Oh well, I forgive you.
Dude, I lived in Oman and have visited Dubai. I mentioned other Middle Eastern countries for the same reason I'd mention European investment if you'd said "well, it's a good job the UK doesn't own ARM any more 'cos they're only interested in bowler hats, Yorkshire Puddings, and football hooliganism." It's called context.
Wwhat 15th March 2017, 20:31 Quote
So Gareth Halfacree, is that name an alias? Because you seem to have a German sense of humor.

But even so - you made me laugh with your 'only third' observation, good joke there, subtle too.
Gareth Halfacree 15th March 2017, 20:50 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wwhat
So Gareth Halfacree, is that name an alias? Because you seem to have a German sense of humor.

No, it's my real name. What's yours? Hitler?

Now *that's* a joke! Zing!

Seriously, though, I'm still waiting for an explanation of why you singled out Saudi when the US spends seven times as much.
Wwhat 16th March 2017, 15:27 Quote
To answer your question why "I" single out the Saudi I quote the first paragraph of the very article we are commenting on:

"..with plans to sell a quarter stake in the company to an investment fund create in partnership with the government of Saudi Arabia."

Let me refine my quote of the article even further:

"..in partnership with the government of Saudi Arabia"

Anyway I guess you missed that bit and hence the confusion, it happens.

P.S. Your Hltler joke made me smile :)
Gareth Halfacree 16th March 2017, 15:31 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wwhat
To answer your question why "I" single out the Saudi I quote the headline of the very article we are commenting on:
"..with plans to sell a quarter stake in the company to an investment fund create in partnership with the government of Saudi Arabia."
That doesn't explain why you've never made a similar comment on any articles regarding US or Chinese government investment in technology firms, given that they spend between three and seven times as much as the government of Saudi Arabia on their military.

So, again, because I seem to be on a very different page to you: what was it that made you comment on this article, and not any others?

EDIT: Here, for example, is Intel announcing a partnership with the Beijing Municipal Government to build an Internet of Things Joint Lab. Can't help but see that you didn't comment on that one. Or on Intel's own investments in China. Or on the Western Digital sale to Unisplendour, a Chinese state-owned investment group not entirely dissimilar to Saudi's PIF. Or on TSMC's deal to build a new fab in Nanking.
Wwhat 17th March 2017, 09:35 Quote
So let's cut through the crap:
Yes I - and in fact any sane person - think the Saudi are bad guys.
No I think they don't need that huge military budget.
No I don't think the Saudi are into tech like the Chinese/Russians are, instead they are into buying up anything they can for financial reasons.

And last but not least since I know you want to hear this for your 'aha!' moment: Yes I despise the Islamic religion, for clarity: regardless if the follower is radicalized or not.
As for the people seen separate, those vary just like normal with the majority veering towards being assholes like all people on the world AFAIK.

I hope this helps.

Oh and I think it's rather insulting for the Chinese and Russians to compare them to Saudis.
Gareth Halfacree 17th March 2017, 09:38 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wwhat
And last but not least since I know you want to hear this for your 'aha!' moment: Yes I despise the Islamic religion, for clarity: regardless if the follower is radicalized or not.
Aha!

(Sorry - couldn't resist!)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wwhat

Oh and I think it's rather insulting for the Chinese and Russians to compare them to Saudis.
Who mentioned Russia?
Wwhat 17th March 2017, 09:41 Quote
Oh and incidentally, there are of course Saudi that are genuinely interested in tech/science, but those you find mostly in US universities and such rather than in financial institutions in Saudi Arabia as far as I''m aware.

As for the Russian thing, make that 'US' then, my bad.
Gareth Halfacree 17th March 2017, 09:43 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wwhat
Oh and incidentally, there are of course Saudi that are genuinely interested in tech/science, but those you find mostly in US universities and such rather than in financial institutions in Saudi Arabia as far as I''m aware.
Not if Tiny-Hands Trump has his way, you won't. Oh, wait, he specifically excluded Saudi Arabia from the Muslim ban, didn't he? Funny, that.
Wwhat 17th March 2017, 09:45 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Halfacree
Not if Tiny-Hands Trump has his way, you won't. Oh, wait, he specifically excluded Saudi Arabia from the Muslim ban, didn't he? Funny, that.

True that, and of course another reason why the Saudi attract the annoyance of ordinary people, they get away with everything and get support of everyone in the world's political stage.
Gareth Halfacree 17th March 2017, 09:47 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wwhat
True that, and of course another reason why the Saudi attract the annoyance of ordinary people, they get away with everything and get support of everyone in the world's political stage.
Money talks, yo.
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