SoftBank's sale of Arm is important not just to the Japanese company's shareholders but to the wider industry in general. Depending upon who buys the chip designer, there could be significant repercussions in the tech market.
Shortly after we first heard Arm was being put up for sale or IPO by SoftBank, it emerged that SoftBank had approached Apple and Nvidia to see if they were interested in taking the business off its hands. That Nvidia was said to be in the advanced talks stage concerning the takeover ruffled many feathers and two days ago Arm co-founder went public to assert that sale to Nvidia would be a disaster.
Earlier this week we heard that Samsung was mulling over a bid of sorts to get a piece of Arm. Insiders talked about Samsung purchasing a stake in Arm, as it has done with ASML, as part of a larger consortium of semiconductor companies which will nurture the chip design business while saving themselves some expense on licensing and royalties.
Yesterday the Nikkei Asian Review published an update to the SoftBank Arm sale saga with details of other companies approached to make bid son the business. The Japanese financial publication said that when SoftBank sounded out Apple and Nvidia it also contacted other tech giants and provided select financial data.
The new report says that SoftBank supplied the extra financial data not just to Nvidia but to TSMC, Qualcomm, and to Foxconn. This data included details of income and projections to show the potential of the investment. While Apple has pulled out, and Nvidia is in advanced talks, the likes of TSMC and Foxconn are taking things slower, and are said to be more favourable of joining a consortium, like the Samsung story highlighted.
It is mentioned that TSMC and Arm are long-time partners but TSMC made a statement to say that it doesn't have any current plans to invest in Arm.