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SoftBank likely to raise stake in US chipmaker Nvidia

LiveMint logoLiveMint 28-05-2017 Dinesh Nair

London/San Francisco: SoftBank Group Corp., the Japanese company that raised a $93 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, asking not to be identified because the deliberations are private.

“While we don’t comment on rumors about our investments, we consider ourselves long-term partners to companies, whether private or public,” SoftBank said in an emailed statement. Nvidia declined to comment.

SoftBank had bought a 4.9% stake, just under the amount that would require a regulatory disclosure in the US, making it the fourth-largest shareholder in the graphics chipmaker, people familiar with the situation said previously. The holding has a market value of about $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 UK chipmaker ARM Holdings Plc and US wireless operator Sprint Corp.

Microsoft Corp., which uses Nvidia’s graphic chips for its Xbox gaming console, has the right of first refusal to buy the shares if another company tries to take a more than 30% stake, Nvidia has said in regulatory filings. Bloomberg

—With assistance from Alex Sherman and Dina Bass

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