Nvidia Gets China's Go-ahead for $6.9 Billion Deal for Israeli Chipmaker Mellanox

Chinese regulatory approval, slowed by the trade war with the United States, had been waiting for more than a year

Reuters
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People gather in the Nvidia booth at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, February 27, 2014.
People gather in the Nvidia booth at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, February 27, 2014.Credit: Manu Fernandez,AP
Reuters

U.S. chip supplier Nvidia Corp said on Thursday Chinese authorities had approved its $6.9 billion acquisition of Israeli chip designer Mellanox Technologies Ltd, overcoming the last obstacle for the deal announced over a year earlier.

Mellanox shares rose nearly 2% in afternoon trading, while Nvidia jumped about 4%.

Many acquisitions between U.S. and international companies with significant operations in China have faced challenges in securing approval from the country’s regulator due to a bitter trade war between the two largest economies of the world that started in January, 2018.

Two years ago, U.S. chipmaker Qualcomm Inc had to walk away from a $44 billion deal to buy NXP Semiconductors after failing to secure Chinese regulatory approval.

Nvidia, known for its powerful gaming graphics chips, wants to bolster its data center and artificial intelligence business through the takeover, its biggest deal, to better compete with rival Intel.

U.S. and EU antitrust authorities have already given approvals for the deal, which is expected to close before April 27, 2020, Nvidia said.

Besides offering gaming chips, Nvidia now also sells chips to speed up artificial intelligence tasks such as teaching servers to recognize images. Mellanox makes chips that connect those servers together inside the data center.

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