Nvidia to buy Israel's Mellanox for $6.8 bln in data center push

Nvidia offers bid for Israeli chip firm Mellanox: report

According to anonymous sources speaking to newswire service Reuters, Mellanox has been offered a deal in excess of $7 billion in cash (around £5.4 billion) from Nvidia - which, if accurate, would represent the largest acquisition in the company's history.

Reports surfaced yesterday on the Israeli technology news site CTec, that Nvidia had entered the Mellanox bidding, which reportedly has included Xilinx, Broadcom, Microsoft, among rumored other companies, along with Intel.

Mellanox is based in both the U.S. and Israel where it makes high-speed network connecting servers, with a market cap at the end of trading on Friday of around $5.9 billion.

"The emergence of AI and data science, as well as billions of simultaneous computer users, is fueling skyrocketing demand on the world's datacenters", NVIDIA founder and CEO Jensen Huang said in a prepared statement. So it has to be distributed on multiple computers and the high performance connectivity to allow these computers to work together is becoming more and more important.

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Nvidia gets about a quarter of its revenue from data centres, with the $2.9 billion in sales in 2018 from the segment growing 52 percent year over year.

The Nvidia-Mellanox deal is a further consolidation in the world of chipmakers.

The tie-up also builds on efforts at Nvidia and Mellanox to get out of the cutthroat business of selling chips and into the more profitable business of selling complete systems, said Bob Wheeler, a principal analyst at chip research firm The Linley Group. Prior to reaching a buyout agreement with Nvidia, Intel was reportedly in the mix but it appears that they were ultimately outbid. "Addressing this demand will require holistic architectures that connect vast numbers of fast computing nodes over intelligent networking fabrics to form a giant datacenter-scale compute engine". 'Combining our two companies comes as a natural extension of our long-standing partnership and is a great fit given our common performance-driven cultures.

The deal is expected to close by the end of 2019.

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