Jeong-eun’s son’s visit to Korea … Meet Lee Jae-yong to discuss the acquisition and cooperation of ‘ARM’

Son of Jeong-eui, Chairman of SoftBank. Capture Softbank’s YouTube video.

SoftBank Chairman Son Jeong-eui (Japanese name Masayoshi Son) visited Korea on the 1st.

According to the business world on the 2nd, Chairman Son arrived at Gimpo International Airport around 3:50 pm on the 1st. Chairman Son is expected to meet with Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong soon to discuss ways to cooperate with ARM company, SoftBank’s British semiconductor (IP) design asset company.

On the 21st of last month, Chairman Son announced his plan to visit Korea, saying, “I want to discuss the strategic alliance between Samsung and ARM.” Before this, Vice Chairman Lee also said, “Chairman Son Jeong-eui is coming to Seoul, and he will probably make some suggestions then.”

ARM is a company that provides design assets (IP), which are basic ‘design drawings’ necessary for design, to the ‘fables’ who design semiconductors, and is called ‘fableless of fabless’. Most smartphone application processors (APs) such as Samsung Electronics Exynos, Apple A16 Bionic, and Qualcomm Snapdragon are designed based on ARM IP.

Although ARM’s annual sales are only about 2 trillion won, the influence it has on the semiconductor industry is so great that many semiconductor companies, such as Nvidia, Qualcomm, and SK Hynix, have expressed made public their intention to acquire ARM, saying they wanted to do so. buy it. SoftBank paid $31.4 billion (about 36 trillion won at the time) to buy ARM in 2016, but is pushing to sell ARM or go public on the stock market due to investment losses by SoftBank Vision Fund.

With Chairman Sohn’s visit to Korea this time, attention is focused on whether Samsung Electronics will formalize the acquisition of ARM. However, in the industry, skepticism exists about the possibility of Samsung Electronics taking over ARM alone. US-based Nvidia, the No. 1 graphics processing unit (GPU) company, previously tried to buy ARM with 40 billion dollars (47 trillion won) in 2019, but the acquisition was canceled due to opposition from competition authorities in the US United States and Europe, etc. Accordingly, semiconductor companies that want ARM are considering ways to promote joint procurement by forming a consortium together.

In the industry, there is speculation that Samsung Electronics will either acquire a stake in ARM to strengthen its strategic cooperative relationship or pursue a joint acquisition by forming a consortium with other companies. Chairman Son, who visited Korea, may also contact SK Hynix management who are interested in acquiring ARM.

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