In 2016, Softbank made a move that shocked the global technology community, a wholly-owned $32 billion acquisition of the British ARM semiconductor design and software company. This is the most expensive acquisition of SoftBank since its establishment. The purpose of the acquisition is to enable the SoftBank to expand its business to the Internet of Things devices and portable electronic devices (mobile phones, watches, tablets, etc.).
Today, the Wall Street Journal reported that a person who understands the movement of Softbank Group revealed to them that Softbank Group is planning to sell the ARM company in whole or in a part which it acquired in 2016. The reason for this sale of ARM is to “raise cash.”
Softbank Group’s reason for selling ARM is not surprising, because they previously invested in WeWork, a shared office space leasing company, which lost a lot of money and fell into a debt crisis. Recently, they are selling the shares held by the US telecommunications operator T-Mobile. Not long ago, it was reported that SoftBank Group was going to sell the Alibaba shares it held. However, Sun Zhengyi, the CEO of Softbank Group, came out in time to refute the rumor.
When it comes to potential buyers of ARM, Apple is arguably the first buyer. At the recent WWDC 2020 conference, Apple announced plans for the Mac to migrate from the Intel platform to the ARM platform, and at the same time demonstrated the excellent performance of the MacBook equipped with the A12Z processor based on the ARM platform.