SoftBank is lining up a London listing for some of its stake in British chipmaker Arm, in a turnaround from earlier plans to float the firm solely in New York, according to reports.
The Japanese investment giant has reportedly pulled back on plans for an initial public offering for Arm on the US markets, Bloomberg reported, which SoftBank boss Masayoshi Son had indicated was the preferred option earlier this year after a blockbuster takeover deal by US rival Nvidia fell through.
Government ministers and London Stock Exchange bosses have been on a charm offensive since to try and woo SoftBank into floating some of the Cambridge-based chipmaker in London.
Earlier this week, digital minister Chris Philp said that progress had been made in talks and SoftBank was now mulling a dual-listing in London for its shares, which tech chiefs hailed yesterday as “hugely significant”.
Speaking to City A.M. yesterday, Tech London Advocates boss Russ Shaw said: “Securing a dual UK-US listing would be hugely significant – both in retaining all the innovation, talent and expertise ARM holds in the UK, while also providing a building block for other tech companies to follow suit.”
A US IPO for one of the UK’s most strategically important tech companies would have struck a blow to the City’s efforts to promote itself as a premier listings destination for tech firms.
SoftBank is seeking a valuation of at least $60 billion for Arm, Bloomberg reported, higher than the value of the previously planned sale to Nvidia which collapsed under intense regulatory scrutiny on both sides of the Atlantic.
Then-London listed Arm was taken private by SoftBank in 2016 for around $32bn and was hailed as a success story for British tech, but concerns have grown over the impact of the firm snubbing the capital on its return to the public markets.