The UK’s Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, has renewed lobbying efforts with processor IP licensor Arm and its parent SoftBank Group to include London in a planned initial public offering, according to the Financial Times.
PM Sunak meet with Arm CEO Rene Haas last month with Masayoshi Son, the chairman and CEO of SoftBank, joining the meeting by video, the FT said referencing two unnamed sources.
SoftBank has been planning for an Arm IPO since the proposed US$66 billion takeover of the company by Nvidia broke down under pressure from the UK regulator (see Analysis: Arm CEO replaced as ‘unwanted’ sale to Nvidia cancelled). However, the most likely plan is for that listing to be in a single location the US.
The meeting was “positive” and “constructive” according to the FT quoting its unnamed sources. UK politicians under previous Prime Minister Boris Johnson lobbied for a London listing for Arm before becoming distracted by a period of political turmoil in the 2H23 in the UK.
Prior to its acquisition by SoftBank in 2016 was listed on the London Stock Exchange with a secondary listing in New York. Although Arm is headquartered in the UK, recreating the dual listing would bring added complexity and costs at a time when stock markets in the west are depressed making IPOs hard to get away (see Arm London IPO talks paused by SoftBank).
SoftBank was originally expected to stage the Arm IPO within a year of the Nvidia deal collapsing which would give the company until about the end of 1Q23. However, time scales have since been relaxed in the hope that markets will improve. Intel’s recent listing of Mobileye may provide Son with encouragement that the environment for IPOs is improving.
Intel’s recent listing of Mobileye may provide Son with encouragement that the environment for IPOs is improving (see IPO for lossmaking Mobileye values company below $16 billion).
UK politicians are eager to reinforce the ties between UK and Arm as one of the few technology companies of global significance created in the country wanting it to provide an endorsement of the City of London and the UK’s post-brexit economy.