I’ll be there for you – Qualcomm boss to invest in Arm if Nvidia acquisition fails

By Eric Johansson

Incoming Qualcomm CEO Cristiano Amon would be happy to invest in British chip designer Arm if the company’s $40bn takeover by Nvidia fails.

Graphics processor company Nvidia first announced plans to buy Arm in September 2020, hoping to finalise the deal in the first quarter of 2022. Japanese conglomerate SoftBank owns Arm.

While Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang has remained confident the deal would be completed within the timeline, Nvidia’s acquisition depends on regulators in the EU, the US, the UK and China all signing off on the deal.

The regulators’ concern over Nvidia’s planned purchase is due to national security and antitrust concerns.

It is against this background that Qualcomm’s incoming CEO Cristiano Amon has now said his business would be happy to invest in Arm if regulatory pressures scupper the Nvidia deal.

“If Arm has an independent future, I think you will find there is a lot of interest from a lot of the companies within the ecosystem, including Qualcomm, to invest in Arm,” Amon told The Telegraph.

GlobalData’s thematic researchers have told Verdict that if Nvidia has to bow out of buying Nvidia from SoftBank, then it’s likely the Japanese conglomerate will take Arm public.

This possibility would open up many doors for new investors, according to Amon.

“If [Arm] moves out of SoftBank and it goes into a process of becoming a publicly-traded company, [with] a consortium of companies that invest, including many of its customers, I think those are great possibilities,” he said.

“We will definitely be open to it, and we have had discussions with other companies that feel the same way.

Companies like Qualcomm, Tesla, Amazon, Google, Microsoft and Apple have previously raised concerns over the implications of Nvidia’s Arm deal for fair competition.

Their worries arise from the nature of Arm’s business. The company licences its chip designs to a huge number of customers. The deal’s detractors are anxious that Nvidia’s acquisition would prevent its rivals from using Arm designs.

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This analysis considers only announced and completed deals from the GlobalData financial deals database and excludes all terminated and rumoured deals. Country and industry are defined according to the headquarters and dominant industry of the target firm. The term ‘acquisition’ refers to both completed deals and those in the bidding stage.

GlobalData tracks real-time data concerning all merger and acquisition, private equity/venture capital and asset transaction activity around the world from thousands of company websites and other reliable sources.

More in-depth reports and analysis on all reported deals are available for subscribers to GlobalData’s deals database.