Could SK Hynix Be Thinking Of Acquiring ARM?
The deal between NVIDIA and ARM may have fallen through but that doesn’t mean no one else is interested, as SK Hynix vice chairman and co-CEO Park Jung-ho has revealed. SK Hynix may be looking for partners to go in on a purchase of ARM from Softbank. According to The Register this is not the first time a possible acquisition was discussed, it was also brought up in a previous meeting involving SK Hynix’s parent company SK Group.
They have come up with a very different plan than NVIDIA, and it is one which just might avoid the legal challenges which were a major contributor to the collapse of the deal. ARM intends to move a significant amount of shares to ARM China, via their owners Softbank and simultaneously change ARM China’s status from an ARM subsidiary to an ARM licensee. As the vast majority of ARM’s business is conducted by licensing their designs, it will be somewhat challenging to present a legal argument to prevent the purchase of an ARM licensee which is technically no longer a part of ARM, merely a customer. The initial step, releasing an IPO of the new licensee makes this even more difficult
Intel has recently expressed interest in joining such a venture, and you can expect other big players to join in if this does actually occur. While neither ARM nor Softbank would provide a comment on this story it does make sense as it will not only make what could be the largest sale in semiconductor history easier, it lets ARM and Softbank divest themselves of ARM China, which has been problematic for them lately, to say the least.