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Posted on September 6, 2016 by staff

Record UK tech deal as Softbank finalises ARM purchase

Record UK tech deal as Softbank finalises ARM purchase

Microchip
Shutterstock
Microchip

The biggest tech deal the UK has ever seen has gone through after Softbank completed its purchase of mammoth British technology firm ARM Holdings.

The Japanese giant agreed a £24billion deal to buy the microchip designer in July, which ARM’s board then took to shareholders for approval.

That was secured recently and the deal has now been completed. As a result, ARM will be delisted from the London Stock Exchange with immediate effect.

The £24bn price was around a 43% premium on its £16.8bn valuation at the time the initial deal was announced.

Cambridge-based ARM, founded in 1990, is one of the biggest tech companies you may have never heard of and designs the chips used in the majority of smartphones, including the market-leading Apple and Samsung devices.

It will remain at its Cambridge base and look to double its staff base from the present level of 3,000 over the next five years while maintaining the existing senior management structure and business model.

SoftBank founder and CEO Masayoshi Son

SoftBank founder and CEO Masayoshi Son (Wikimedia Commons) 

Softbank, founded by Masayoshi Son, has a history of foreign acquisitions having bought US telecoms company Sprint.

Chairman and chief executive Masayoshi Son said in July: “This is one of the most important acquisitions we have ever made, and I expect ARM to be a key pillar of SoftBank’s growth strategy going forward.

“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 with the Softbank group as we invest to capture the very significant opportunities provided by the Internet of Things.”

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The growth of smart devices means chips are now embedded in increasing numbers of objects around the home.

 

A leading R&D lobby group has warned that the takeover could have “broad ramifications” for science and technology research in the UK.