Softbank buys ARM for £24.3bn

18 July 2016 |

Softbank has acquired UK-based mobile chip designer ARM Holdings for £24.3 billion.

While this proposed takeover will present the UK Government with some political problems, it is not thought that the deal will be opposed. Chancellor Phillip Hammond reacted to the news of the takeover by saying it showed UK companies had lost none of their "allure to international investors."

"Britain is open for business and open to foreign investment. Softbank's decision confirms that Britain remains one of the most attractive destinations globally for investors to create jobs and wealth. And as ARM's founders will testify, this is the greatest place in the world to start and grow a technology business," he said.

ARM designs the microchips used in the vast majority of smartphones, including Apple's, Samsung's and many more. While it does not manufacture them it has developed a niche for itself in high-end design which few can match

SoftBank has said that it intends to keep ARM as a UK-based company, including its existing senior management, brand values, and the partnership-based business model. The Japanese company has also pledged to double the employee headcount at least in the UK over the next five years and to boost staff numbers employed at ARM outside the UK.

ARM's board has unanimously recommended the deal to shareholders, saying it "believes that by accessing all the resources that SoftBank has to offer, ARM will be able to accelerate the use of ARM-based technology wherever computing happens." The takeover is expected to close in the later part of this year.

Under the terms of the Acquisition, each ARM shareholder will be entitled to receive £17.00 in cash for each ARM share.

ARM shareholders who are on the register of members of ARM as at close of business on 8 September 2016 will be entitled to receive and retain an interim dividend of 3.78 pence per ARM Share.

Commenting on the announcement, Masayoshi Son, chairman and CEO of SoftBank said: “We have long admired ARM as a world renowned and highly respected technology company that is by some distance the market-leader in its field. ARM will be an excellent strategic fit within the SoftBank group as we invest to capture the very significant opportunities provided by the “Internet of Things.”

“As an integral part of the transaction, we intend to double at least the number of employees employed by ARM in the UK over the next five years.

“It is also intended that ARM will remain an independent business within SoftBank, and continue to be headquartered in Cambridge, UK."