SoftBank "not a good owner" for ARM laments Lord Myners as shareholders wave the deal through

 
Lynsey Barber
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The deal was welcomed as a post-Brexit coup for Britain (Source: Getty)

All systems go!


Shareholders of tech giant ARM Holdings have approved the £24bn SoftBank takeover – clearing its last hurdle ahead of the deal being completed on Monday.

The deal was waved through by 95 per cent of investors this afternoon, the Cambridge-based company said in a regulatory filing.

Not all are happy about the deal however.

Earlier today the former City minister Lord Myners slammed the sale of a rare British tech success story to the Japanese conglomerate saying it won't be a good owner of the business.


Myners, also a former chairman of high street stalwart Marks and Spencer, has said the sale was evidence of the City failing to back the British economy and Britain's future.

Read more: Here's the windfall City advisers are in for from the ARM Softbank mega-deal

He was speaking to the BBC ahead of the shareholder meeting.

"It was a high valuation, no one disputes that. But this is one of Britain's last wholly owned UK-based high technology companies, founded by technology developed for the BBC, heavily supported by government subsidies during its early years and by the UK finance community, and now we're selling," he said on Radio 4's Today programme on Tuesday morning.

This is a business at the heart of the ecosystem of modern technology, the Internet of Things, an area in which we lead. And control of this company is now passing to a heavily geared, heavily borrowed, unfocused Japanese company. Decisions will no longer be made in the UK anymore, in Cambridge, they will be made in Tokyo.

And this is evidence again of the City's predilection for sell at a premium, get out, don't invest for the future, don't back the British economy and don't back Britain's future.

He said the promises made by SoftBank to keep the company headquartered in the UK, to double the workforce in the next five years and no reduction in staff numbers outside the UK are unlikely to be legally enforceable under beefed up takevover panel rules.

Read more: PM’s takeover test may do more Arm than good

"If ARM were a US, German or Japanese company, it would not be able to be sold in 60 days. It would be a question of national significance and public policy to determine whether we sell.

"We are selling our winners and we are being left with companies which are either not globally successful or businesses which are controlled from overseas."

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