SoftBank plans to retain majority ownership after Arm’s IPO

Masayoshi Son speaks during a joint announcement with Toyota Motor to establish a new mobility services development company in Tokyo in October 2018.

Alessandro Di Ciommo | OnlyPhoto | Getty Images

Japanese tech conglomerate SoftBank intends to retain a majority stake in British chip designer Arm if it takes the company public via an IPO.

SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son confirmed the news on Thursday, following a report by Bloomberg last month citing people familiar with the matter.

Son said SoftBank plans to list Arm as soon as possible, but added that the company is willing to wait if stock markets remain volatile. In February, Son said Arm expects to be listed within the fiscal year ending March 31, 2023.

The billionaire declined to comment on what rating he is targeting for Arm, whose energy-efficient chip architectures are used in most of the world’s smartphones and many other products.

SoftBank was set to sell Arm to US chip giant Nvidia for $40 billion, but the deal was scrapped in March amid intense scrutiny from competition regulators in the US, Europe, China and the UK

In terms of where SoftBank will list Arm, Son previously said he intends to list the company in New York, where the tech-focused Nasdaq exchange is located.

However, the UK government wants Arm to be listed on the London Stock Exchange.

According to a Financial Times report earlier this month, Prime Minister Boris Johnson sent a letter to SoftBank urging the company to consider listing Arm in its home country. SoftBank declined to comment when asked about the letter.

Analysts have questioned whether SoftBank could make as much money from an IPO as it could from a sale.

SoftBank reported a record loss at its investment unit Vision Fund on Thursday, as tech stocks were hurt by rising interest rates and following Beijing’s crackdown.

The Vision Fund posted a loss of 3.5 trillion yen ($27.4 billion) for its fiscal year ended March 31, the biggest loss since the mutual fund began in 2017. SoftBank plans to retain majority ownership after Arm’s IPO

Chrissy Callahan

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