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April 27, 2020updated 28 Apr 2020 10:27am

NVIDIA Closes Israel’s Second Largest Ever Tech Buyout

NVIDIA sees immediate benefits to bottom line

By CBR Staff Writer

NVIDIA has closed its $7 billion buyout of Israel’s Mellanox, just 11 days after winning approval from China’s competition watchdog.

The deal, first announced on March 11, 2019 amid heightened market interest in the high performance networking specialist, brings substantially more muscle to NVIDIA’s existing data centre offering.

At the time of signing, it was Israel’s second-largest ever tech deal (after Intel’s 2017 buyout of autonomous vehicle specialist Mobileye for $14 billion). Santa Clara-based NVIDIA said today that it sees the the deal being immediately accretive to NVIDIA’s gross margin, EPS and free cash flow.

“The expanding use of AI and data science is reshaping computing and data center architectures,” said Jensen Huang, founder and CEO of NVIDIA, adding: “With Mellanox, the new NVIDIA has end-to-end technologies from AI computing to networking, full-stack offerings from processors to software, and significant scale to advance next-generation data centers.

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Mellanox sells products from cables to its system-on-chip family BlueField; it specialises in Ethernet and InfiniBand-based data centre networking. (Both FPGA specialist Xilinx and Microsoft had been linked with a potential deal before NVIDIA swooped, as had Intel).

Earlier this month, Mellanox reported record revenue and operating income for the first quarter of 2020. Revenue for the quarter hit $428.7 million, an increase of 40.5 percent on Q1, 2019.

Eyal Waldman, founder and CEO of Mellanox, said: “This is a powerful, complementary combination of cultures, technology and ambitions. Our people are enormously enthusiastic about the many opportunities ahead.”

The acquisition will boost NVIDIA’s growing push into the global data centre market, adding Mellanox interconnects to NVIDIA’s GPUs in a combined portfolio that already reaches the majority of hyperscale data centres. European regulators had signed off the buyout in December.

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