TsmcSource: Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Ltd.

What you need to know

  • Two key Apple suppliers might be interested in buying Arm from SoftBank.
  • Apparently, both TSMC and Foxconn have shown an interest.
  • They were presented with select financial data and projection from the company.

A report says two key Apple suppliers have shown an interest in purchasing Arm Ltd from SoftBank Group.

As reported by TSMC: '

Key Apple suppliers including Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. and Foxconn are among the companies showing interest in a possible investment in U.K.- based chip designer Arm Ltd., according to people familiar with the discussions.

According to the report, representatives for SoftBank Group have been in touch with "several tech giants" about the sale of Arm, which it bought for $32 billion four years ago. Sources said that companies approach include Apple suppliers TSMC and Foxconn, Apple, Qualcomm, and Nvidia.

The companies were given "select financial data and projections prepared by Arm to evaluate a potential acquisition or investment". According to sources, TSMC and Foxconn showed "some interest". Nvidia is considered to be the frontrunner in the deal and is already in "advanced talks" regarding an outright acquisition. Both Foxconn and TSMC are reportedly more interested in securing a small stake. Apple no longer appears to be interested.

As the report notes:

"TSMC and Foxconn are closely monitoring how the talks between SoftBank and Nvidia progress," a source familiar with the deal said. "The two are still interested but are balking at a full acquisition."

TSMC studied Arm and its business model several years ago and is quite familiar with the U.K. company, another source with knowledge of the matter said.

According to the report, Softbank is "eager" to find new investors quickly due to their own financial issues, however, many prospective bidders including TSMC and Foxconn are worried about getting caught in the U.S.-China crossfire, in particular with regard to Huawei, Arm's biggest client in China.

You can read the full report here.