UK government to look into Nvidia’s £31 billon deal for ARM

Business

The UK government is to look into the sale of chip designer ARM to US giant Nvidia.

Digital minister Caroline Dinenage said the government would access the impact of the deal, including commitments to keep its head office and staff in Cambridge.

She said: “We are currently working very hard to understand the full impact of this move and what potential impact it may have on the future, and from there we are able to consider what steps we may wish to take.”

Nvidia, the biggest US chip company in the world, has agreed to buy ARM from Japan’s SoftBank for £31 billion.

Dinenage added that ministers would consider commitments made by SoftBank and Nvidia to maintain ARM as a successful British business “incredibly carefully”, and the government had already had discussions with the parties involved.

A decision about whether to intervene in the deal would then be taken by the secretary of state for digital, culture, media and sport after considering the relevant information.

ARM is one of the UK’s few world-class tech companies and its technology is at the heart of most smartphones.

But there are mounting fears the firm’s headquarters could be axed when ARM becomes a Nvidia subsidiary.

Nvidia promised that ARM, which has 2500 UK workers, will remain a British firm and plans to build a artificial intelligence research centre in Cambridge.

SoftBank’s takeover of the firm in 2016 for $32 billion was one of the largest deals to take place after the Brexit referendum. The then Prime Minister Theresa May received assurances that ARM would remain in Cambridge but these stipulations run out next year.