‘SOFTBANK MULLS RAISING NVIDIA STAKE’
Japan firm plans to work more closely with US chipmaker, say sources
SOFTBANK Group Corp, the Japanese company that raised a US$93 billion (RM394 billion) fund for technology investments, is considering boosting its stake in chipmaker Nvidia Corp, people familiar with the matter said.
The firm would raise its holding over time and begin to work more closely with Nvidia, the people said.
“We consider ourselves longterm partners to companies, whether private or public,” SoftBank said in an emailed statement.
SoftBank had bought a 4.9 percent stake, just under the amount that would require a regulatory disclosure in the United States, making it the fourthlargest shareholder in the graphics chipmaker, people familiar with the situation said previously. The holding has a market value of about US$4.1 billion.
SoftBank’s chief executive officer Masayoshi Son is working to become the world’s most prolific technology investor, and closed the first round of capital commitments for his Vision Fund this month. He has used money from his domestic telecom operations to pay for investments in startups in China, India and the US and for acquisitions of larger companies such as the United Kingdom’s ARM Holdings Plc and US wireless operator Sprint Corp.
Microsoft Corp has the right of first refusal to buy the shares if another company tries to take a more than 30 per cent stake, Nvidia has said in regulatory filings.
Under its founder, Jen-Hsun Huang, Nvidia has become one of the chipmakers leading the charge to provide the underpinnings of machine intelligence in everything from data centres to cars. As the biggest maker of graphics chips, Nvidia has proved that type of processor’s ability to perform multiple tasks in parallel has value in new markets, where artificial intelligence is increasingly important.
Nvidia shares rose 2.59 per cent to close at US$141.84 in New York on Friday, giving it a market value of US$84.1 billion.
The Santa Clara, Californiabased company has been a good bet for those that backed it. Its stock more than tripled last year and is up 32 per cent this year. Bloomberg
Nvidia Corp president and CEO Jen-Hsun Huang shows a Nvidia high-end computing module at an event in Las Vegas. The company is the biggest maker of graphics chips.