UK technology leaders gave their approval to reports that Rishi Sunak, the prime minister, had reopened talks to convince Arm’s foreign owner to list in London and New York.
According to the Financial Times, the Prime Minister met Rene Haas, chief executive of British technology group, in Downing Street last month for discussions about its future. Masayoshi Son (billionaire founder of Softbank’s arm) joined the meeting via videolink.
Softbank, a Japanese multinational that bought the Cambridge-based company in 2016 for PS26bn, wants to sell it.
Nvidia, the US chip giant, tried to purchase it last year for US$40bn. However, there was intense regulatory scrutiny that forced SoftBank to make plans for Arm’s spinoff.
Although a stock market listing on the Nasdaq is preferred in New York, the UK government and London Stock Exchange want Arm shares to be listed in Britain.
Arm was formerly listed on the FTSE 100 as well as Nasdaq, before being bought by Softbank. Politicians lobbied last year to bring this tech-giant back to British soil.
Softbank’s flotation plans were abandoned by Softbank last year due to political turmoil in Westminster, as well as a general lack of interest in IPOs. This left the listing spot open for other companies.
Russ Shaw, founder and CEO of Tech London Advocates (a global network for tech founders), stated that a flotation would give Arm an exclusive position in London and make them a harbinger of other tech talent coming to the capital.
According to The Daily Mail, Gerard Grech of Tech Nation, a UK founder network, said that a listing in London would be a sign of confidence in the UK market. Arm could also tap into both exchanges, potentially increasing its access to capital.