SoftBank Eyes OpenAI After Arm IPO

SoftBank, which acquired Arm for $31 billion in 2016, controls about 90 per cent of shares outstanding….reports Asian Lite News

Japanese major SoftBank is mulling to make an investment in Sam Altman-run OpenAI after the blockbuster listing of British chip designer Arm owned by Softbank, the media reported on Saturday.

Masayoshi Son, SoftBank’s founder and CEO, is potentially “looking to invest tens of billions in AI after completing Arm’s initial public offering,” reports The Financial Times.

“SoftBank could also look to strike a broad strategic partnership with the ChatGPT maker,” the report noted.

UK chip designing giant Arm’s stock surged about 25 per cent during its first day of trading on Nasdaq after selling shares at $51 a piece in its US initial public offering (IPO).

SoftBank, which acquired Arm for $31 billion in 2016, controls about 90 per cent of shares outstanding.

Arm’s IPO is reportedly set to expand SoftBank’s war chest to as much as $65 billion.

According to the report, SoftBank is also looking at making substantial investments in direct rivals of the ChatGPT maker.

SoftBank said in a statement that “We do not comment on rumours.” OpenAI declined to comment on the report.

Microsoft earlier invested $10 billion in OpenAI in a multi-year deal.

Arm priced its shares at the upper end of its expected range on Wednesday.

Arm has developed and licensed high-performance, low-cost, and energy-efficient central processing unit (CPU) products and related technology.

Arm was supposed to be acquired by graphics chip giant Nvidia for $40 billion in 2020, but the deal was called off in February 2022, owing to “significant regulatory challenges preventing the consummation of the transaction”.

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