Further stacking atop its silicon ambitions, a surprising development has come to light today. Bloomberg, citing sources aware of the matter, reports that Japanese telecom giant SoftBank has silently acquired a $4 billion stake in U.S-based graphics chipmaker Nvidia.
This huge investment has made it the fourth largest shareholder in the graphics chip company, with no specifics on the size of their stake disclosed as of yet. The details of its capital infusion into Nvidia surfaced when SoftBank had announced that it has ended the fundraising process for its aggressively tech-focused Vision Fund, it had announced earlier last year. Bloomberg has suggested that SoftBank has been able to acquire close to 4.9 percent stake in Nvidia with its massive investment.
A holding of 4.9 percent, just under the amount that would require a regulatory disclosure in the U.S., would be worth about $4 billion.
This development, which makes you question the play of the ecosystem, comes at an intriguing time for the Japanese telecom giant. SoftBank had recently announced that it has closed its monstrous “Vision Fund”, it has set up in collaboration with Saudi Arabia, at $93 billion over the weekend. If you want to jump into the specifics, a heavy $45 billion check from Saudi Arabia along with support from industry bigwigs including, Apple, Foxconn, and Qualcomm.
Prior to picking up a stake in Nvidia, SoftBank shelled out $31 billion (£24 billion) last September to acquire U.K-headquartered chip company ARM Holdings. And now, reports have surfaced that the Japanese giant is readying itself to sell 25 percent stake in the chipmaker to the aformentioned Vision Fund. It may be because the same has been set up in London, the home grounds of the chipmaker.
In addition, SoftBank CEO and chairman Masayoshi Son is keeping his promise to the United States and announced that half of its investments from the Vision Fund will go into U.S-based technology companies. Then, our question could well be, is Nvidia the very first one to secure a capital infusion from the grand fund? This could be true because it falls in line with Masayoshi’s grand vision to become the biggest tech investor, with footing in all latest technologies such as AI, VR, AR and self-driving vehicles.