The fate of semiconductor design company Arm remains unclear as fresh reports citing industry watchers suggest at least two possible futures, one of which includes Samsung. As you may recall, analyst Jim Hardy recently claimed that the Korean tech giant has no intention of buying Arm, however, even if this may be the case, a fresh report from The Korea Times citing an anonymous top industry official now claims that Samsung could at least become an Arm shareholder.
For readers who might not be aware, Arm has been put up for sale by SoftBank and industry watchers are keeping a close eye on this deal said to be worth around $40 billion. It’s unclear how the future will pan out in regards to Arm’s ownership, but according to the recent report, Arm won’t be bought by a single company but by a consortium led by multiple parties from the semiconductor industry.
Samsung could be one of the member companies, meaning that once the deal is made, the Korean giant will become an Arm shareholder. The source claims that Samsung’s involvement will be similar to when it acquired equities in Dutch semiconductor equipment supplier ASML.
There is another possible outcome
In parallel with this report, Business Korea citing Bloomberg claims that Arm could still be bought by a single entity, namely Nvidia. The GPU giant is seemingly in advanced talks with SoftBank over the potential acquisition of ARM, claims the source. The company is said to be looking at a $32 billion transaction.
It does seem less plausible for a single company to be acquiring Arm and more likely that a group of companies will chip in to get a share of the pie, but according to the report, a deal with Nvidia could be finalized as early as the next few weeks.
Meanwhile, industry watchers fear that a deal between Arm and Nvidia could be a cause for concern, as the latter company might want to keep patents for itself and/or command exorbitant licencing fees. Needless to say, if Nvidia will buy Arm, this will most likely leave Samsung out of the picture.