TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s SoftBank has
agreed to buy ARM Holdings for £23.4
billion ($31 billion), the Financial Times
reported on Monday, citing two people
familiar with the negotiations.
Separately, the New York Times also
reported that a deal was close, but did not
report a price. The deal is expected to
close Monday morning.
ARM, which provides technology for the
iPhone, is a major presence in mobile
processing, with its processor and
graphics technology used by Samsung,
Huawei, and Apple in their in-house
designed microchips. It is buying ARM to
establish a position in the Internet of
things — a term that describes a wide
variety of devices using sensors and
network connections to communicate with
one another. IoT devices include
everything from industrial machinery to
“smart” household appliances.
SoftBank could not immediately be
reached for comment. ARM Holdings
officials were not available outside market
hours.
If confirmed, the deal would be one of the
largest in European technology to date,
and SoftBank’s largest ever, bigger than
the $22 billion acquisition of a controlling
stake in wireless operator Sprint in 2013,
a deal that left the group with hefty debts.
An announcement on Monday would
come less than a month after the
Japanese group’s founder, Masayoshi
Son, scrapped his plans to leave the
company. He said he wanted to develop
Sprint and complete the transformation of
SoftBank into an Internet investment
powerhouse.
SoftBank was an early outside investor in
Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba, with a
stake now worth around $65 billion,
according to the FT.
Softbank is also the largest shareholder in
Yahoo Japan, an independent company
originally formed as a joint venture
between Softbank and Yahoo. Yahoo will
report earnings on Monday, and that’s
also the closing date for bids for the
company’s core US Internet business.
The deal also comes just weeks after
Britain voted to leave the European Union,
battering sterling and bolstering the yen.
According to the Financial Times report,
SoftBank will pay £17 in cash for each
ARM share, a premium of more than 40
percent to Friday’s close at £11.89.
(Reporting by Cang-Ran Kim; Writing by
Clara Ferreira-Marques; Editing by Will
Waterman and Business Insider)

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