Merger and Acquisition
Nvidia’s Arm Acquisition Now Highly Unlikely to Go Through
Gartner semiconductor analyst Alan Priestly has said that Nvidia’s planned $40 billion acquisition of United Kingdom Chip Designer Arm is becoming more unlikely to be successful.
Priestly attributed this possible failure to the increasing number of regulatory inquiries which the deal is facing, also making mention of concerns in the United Kingdom, the European Union, the United States of America and China. Priestly said this to CNBC on Wednesday, with both Nvidia and Arm failing to respond immediately to a request for comment by CNBC.
The deal had previously eyed a completion date of March 2022, but the CEO of Nvidia Jensen Huang had admitted in August that the deal may go beyond the anticipated date.
Arm was born out of an old computing company known as Acorn Computers back in 1990. The energy-efficient chips designed by the company are used in about 95% of smartphones around the world and 95% of chips designed in China. The company was bought by Japan-owned SoftBank in 2016 for about 24 billion pounds ($32 billion), authorizes its chip designs to over 500 companies who use these chips when making their own semiconductors.
Critics have concerns that the merger with Nvidia – who is responsible for designing its own chips – could hinder Arm’s semiconductor designs which have been dubbed neutral, and may then lead to increased prices, less available choices and reduced innovation across the industry. Nvidia however argues that the deal will result in more innovation and that Arm will benefit from an increase in investment.
American chip giant Broadcom has publicly shown support for the deal, but many others remain against it.
Qualcomm has stated that Nvidia could proceed to limit the supply of Arm’s technology to competitors, or even raise prices. Bloomberg reports that Google and Microsoft have raised similar concerns with regulators.
The United Kingdom announced back in November that it would be launching a full investigation into the takeover of Arm by Nvidia, with the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) investigating antitrust concerns and national security issues over the period of 24 weeks.
Merger and Acquisition
Chad Nationalizes Exxon Mobil Assets Amidst Controversy
The Chadian government has announced that it has nationalized all assets and rights, including hydrocarbon permits and exploration and production authorizations, that belonged to Exxon Mobil’s subsidiary in the country.
The move comes after Exxon Mobil closed the sale of its operations in Chad and Cameroon to London-listed Savannah Energy in a $407 million deal in December.
However, the Chadian government contested the agreement, stating that the final terms were different from what Exxon Mobil had presented. It warned that it may ask courts to block Savannah’s purchase of Exxon’s assets in the country and take further steps to protect its interests.
The nationalized assets include a 40% stake in Chad’s Doba oil project, which comprises seven producing oilfields with a combined output of 28,000 barrels per day. It also includes Exxon’s interest in the more than 1,000 kilometer Chad/Cameroon pipeline from the landlocked nation to the Atlantic Gulf of Guinea coast through which its crude is exported.
Exxon Mobil and Savannah Energy were not immediately available for comment on the matter.
This move by the Chadian government is not entirely surprising given the controversy surrounding the sale of Exxon Mobil’s assets to Savannah Energy. It remains to be seen what actions the government will take to protect its interests and whether Savannah Energy will be able to proceed with its purchase of Exxon’s assets in Chad.
The nationalization of Exxon Mobil’s assets in Chad is part of a broader trend of governments taking greater control of their natural resources. Many countries in Africa and beyond have been pushing for greater control over their resources and a larger share of the profits generated by foreign companies operating in their territories.
As natural resources become increasingly important in the global economy, it is likely that we will continue to see governments taking a more assertive approach to the management of their resources. The challenge for companies like Exxon Mobil will be to navigate these complex and evolving political landscapes while also delivering value to their shareholders.
Merger and Acquisition
HSBC Purchases Silicon Valley Bank U.K Subsidiary, Protects Customer’s Deposits
British multinational universal bank and financial services holding company HSBC Holdings plc has acquired Silicon Valley Bank U.K subsidiary for £1 ($1.21).
HSBC disclosed that the acquisition will help strengthen its franchise in the U.K, noting that all depositors’ money with SVBUK is safe and secure and that all operations will continue as normal.
The company said in a statement, “This action has been taken to stabilize Silicon Valley Bank UK, ensuring the continuity of banking services, minimizing disruption to the UK technology sector, and supporting confidence in the financial system.
“The bank and HM treasury can confirm that all depositor’s money with SVB UK is safe and secure as a result of this transaction. SVB UK’s business will continue to be operated normally by SVB UK. All services will continue to operate as normal, and customers should not notice any changes”.
HSBC’s acquisition of Silicon Valley Bank British arm is coming after a host of potential buyers had submitted proposals to purchase the bank since the failure of its U.S. parent company, amid widespread concern over the immediate future of many British technology and life sciences startups.
Bank of London CEO Anthony Watson disclosed that Silicon Valley Bank cannot be allowed to fail, given the vital role it plays in the community. He added, “this is a unique opportunity to ensure the U.K has a more diversified banking sector, whilst allowing continuity of service to SVB’s U.K client base. It would be deeply disappointing for this moment to lead to further consolidation of power among big banks”.
The acquisition of SVB U.K. subsidiary comes after the bank which specialized in lending funds to technology startups, witnessed a financial implosion on Friday last week, making it the largest U.S. bank failure since the global financial crisis more than a decade ago, Investors King understands.
Silicon Valley Bank’s financial implosion began late Wednesday when it informed investors with the unpleasant news that it needed to raise $2.25 billion to shore up its balance sheet. This spurred customers to withdraw a staggering $42 billion of deposits by the end of Thursday, leading to the collapse of the bank.
Analysts predict that the slump of Silicon Valley Bank could be far-reaching which would see Startups faced with several challenges such as paying employees’ salaries, venture investors struggling to raise funds, massive cost cuts, etc.
Merger and Acquisition
Andela Procures Tech Platform Qualified, Set to Accelerate Its Ability to Source For Tech Talent
A startup that trains developers in Africa and hires them out to global tech companies Andela, has recently acquired a tech skills assessment platform Qualified to accelerate its ability to source and assess talent.
The acquisition of qualified will see Andela’s global tech community expand with the addition of more than 3.5 million engineers via Codewars, an online educational community for computer programming powered by Qualified.
Speaking on the recent acquisition of Qualified, Co-founder of Andela Jeremy Johnson said,
“This acquisition will help Andela expand and accelerates its ability to source and expertly assess talent. Labor marketplaces are constrained by inefficiencies between supply, demand, and quality. Qualified allows us to address those inefficiencies by providing the certified right talent at the right time. Companies will continue to trust that talent sourced through Andela has the needed skills regardless of where they live and work.”
Also speaking on its collaboration with Andela, the Co-founder, and CEO of Qualified Jake Hoffner said, “The tech industry has historically relied on hiring practices that have proven to be ineffective. The expanded platform will allow companies to create hiring processes for software engineers that are predictive of their on-the-job performance. In addition, we provide companies and our growing tech community a bigger, broader, and better opportunity to connect globally.”
Founded nearly a decade ago on the premise that brilliance is evenly distributed but opportunity is not, Andela’s recent acquisition of Qualified, has considerably accelerated the road ahead to ensure that the right tech talents are connected to the right opportunities.
With the biggest challenge hiring managers face in determining how can they know a new hire will succeed, Qualified, as the top technical assessment platform, will accelerate Andela’s ability to solve this problem and thereby raise the probability of success for a new hire by certifying their skills before the engagement begins.
It is interesting to note that Qualified is a leader in this space, enterprise companies like Meta, Zoom, and Dominos already trust them to assess their internal talent.
Investors King understands that Andela is keenly aware of the role AI will play with its recent acquisition, and it believes that the capabilities of Qualified would move it towards a more predictive matching process on its platform.
Andela’s procurement of Qualified will now not only provides access to global talent but raise and standardize the bar at which those engineers are certified. It is interesting to note that in 2017, Qualified and Andela first joined forces to build up Africa’s tech ecosystem. Using Qualified’s developer assessments, Andela successfully assessed over 19k developers.
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