Intel rumored to buy US$10 billion worth of Arm shares before IPO
Bloomberg and Reuters report that SoftBank is negotiating an anchor investment deal with Intel for the Arm IPO scheduled to take place in the second half of 2023. Industry sources claim that Intel could buy up to US$10 billion worth of Arm shares.
Earlier this year, Intel and Arm signed a multi-year deal that allows Arm to tap Intel's Foundry Services in order to manufacture advanced cores on the upcoming 18A nodes. Immediately after, rumors about Arm partnering up with unnamed foundries to produce reference chips started swirling around the Internet. Seeing that Intel would already be interested in an anchor investment, the chosen foundries for Arm's reference SoCs will most likely be produced on Intel's Angstrom era nodes. There is some concern that Arm could become a respectable competitor for Qualcomm and MediaTek if this were to happen.
The anchor investor position seems particularly appealing for Intel, especially when it can buy a large number of shares at a lower price before the actual IPO. This move should help SoftBank generate interest from more investors. However, it is still unclear what could happen if other foundries like TSMC and Samsung or companies like Apple acquire a significant stake in Arm through the IPO. Intel’s significant share combined with the manufacturing deal could give it increased control over Arm’s plans. A similar scenario was dreaded by the entire industry when Nvidia tried to buy Arm a few years ago.