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Nvidia preparing to walk away from Arm acquisition

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Nvidia Corp (NVDA.O) is preparing to abandon its purchase of Arm Ltd from SoftBank Group Corp (9984.T) after offering about $40 billion for the British company in 2020, Bloomberg News reported on Tuesday, citing people familiar with the matter.

The US chipmaker has told partners that it does not expect the deal to close, while SoftBank is stepping up preparations for an initial public offering (IPO) of Arm, the report said.

An Nvidia spokesperson said the company continues to believe the acquisition “provides an opportunity to accelerate Arm and boost competition and innovation.” Arm and SoftBank did not immediately respond to Reuters requests for comment.

Nvidia shares were down 3.2 per cent before the bell, leading losses among chipmakers in a broadly weaker market.

The deal has faced several regulatory hurdles, with the US Federal Trade Commission suing to block it in December. The buyout is also under the scrutiny of British and EU regulators.

Jonathan Kanter, the new head of the US Justice Department Antitrust Division, has said he would seek to stop mergers that pose anticompetitive concerns rather than striking deals for concessions that would allow the transaction to close.

The stock-heavy deal for Arm has risen in value since it was announced in September 2020 due to a surge in shares of Nvidia sparked by strong growth of its data center-focused chip business.

Arm’s CEO said in July last year that the company had contemplated an IPO but that would hurt its ability to expand and invest.

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