‘UK Prime Minister revives talks on Arm IPO’

‘UK Prime Minister revives talks on Arm IPO’

The move comes after a failed attempt to bring the listing to London last year.

British Prime Minister (PM) Rishi Sunak has revived talks with Japan’s SoftBank Group regarding a London listing for chip designer Arm, according to a report in the Financial Times.

While Arm is based in the UK, most of the company’s clients operate in the US. SoftBank, the company’s owner, has previously indicated that it wants to list Arm, on New York’s NASDAQ. SoftBank acquired the chip designer in 2016 for $32 billion.

Sunak met Arm chief executive Rene Haas last month in Downing Street. SoftBank’s billionaire owner, Masayoshi Son, joined via video. People briefed on the meeting told the Financial Times (FT) that the talks were “very constructive” and “positive”. The report noted that Andrew Griffith, the UK’s City minister, is involved.

Another victim of Brexit?

Nevertheless, officials from Westminster and the London Stock Exchange (LSE) face “an uphill struggle” to persuade SoftBank to come to London because of the cost and complexity of such a move, the FT explains.

Last year, attempts to convince the Japanese group to list Arm on the LSE as well as the New York exchange were “derailed” after what the FT describes as “months of political turmoil” in Westminster. Moreover, companies have traditionally dismissed a “dual listing” approach due to the expense and complexity.

Arm was founded in Cambridge and remains headquartered there. Convincing SoftBank to list Arm in London “would be seen as a significant vote of confidence in the UK market”, the FT asserts. Arm had been listed in London, with a secondary listing in New York, before SoftBank bought the company shortly after the 2016 Brexit vote.

Should Arm return to the UK capital, it would be the largest tech group on the London Stock Exchange.