back to article SoftBank reportedly moves London IPO out of Arm's reach

SoftBank may have stalled plans to take its chip designing subsidiary Arm public in the UK. The Japanese giant, founded by billionaire Masayoshi Son, had intended to list Arm on both the London Stock Exchange and New York-based NASDAQ. According to an overnight Financial Times report, though, Tokyo-based Softbank has at least …

  1. thames

    According to US financial sources, if ARM list in the US as their only listing they will need to move their headquarters to the US in order to qualify to be part of US indexes.

    So, not listing in London probably guarantees an eventual move of the headquarters, and probably sooner rather than later.

    It will also put ARM more firmly under US legal jurisdiction, which in turn will cause many of their non-US licensees to elevate their RISC-V contingency plans to priority one for anything not locked into Google or Apple.

    In other words, it would be the start of a long, slow. death of ARM in terms of any British connection.

    1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

      death of ARM in terms of any British connection.

      It's all well deserved. Conservatives have been busy destroying local tech businesses in favour of international giants who are only interested in profit above everything else.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "long, slow. death of ARM in terms of any British connection"

      Maybe not that slow.

    3. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      >According to US financial sources, if ARM list in the US as their only listing they will need to move their headquarters to the US in order to qualify to be part of US indexes.

      They can just have a small listing in Luxembourg etc. Sony / VW / Toyota / Nestle etc are all listed on the NYSE without having to become American

  2. steviebuk Silver badge

    Money issues

    Doesn't this normally show a sign of money issues? Banging on about how investing in good British tech yet they allowed the sale back in 2016 to go ahead. All the shares were bought up by Japan. I made a very small profit but still a profit. Now, however, if they want to float again its normally a sign a company is using it to generate cash. The original ruling was if Japan owned it then for a time the HQ will have to stay in the UK. I assume that time is coming to an end and they may move out.

    1. iron Silver badge

      Re: Money issues

      Softbank have serious money issues. All the tech and companies they invested in were crap except for Arm. They lost their shirt on WeWork and several others. This is all about pulling Softbank's gonads out of the fire, Arm is fine.

    2. bazza Silver badge

      Re: Money issues

      Whoa, hang on. ARM has not depended on or required British government investment. They've done very well as a strictly private endeavour, not needing public money at all. What did you want the government to do? Nationalise it?

      It was not a lack of investment in ARM that caused Softbank to offer way over the odds for the company in 2016. Oh, and Softbank is not the sovereign nation of Japan. The Japanese did not buy ARM.

      The only lawful way government can interfere in private enterprise is if there is some law that requires them to do so. A British company being owned (but otherwise staying as is) by a Japanese company in no way passes any public interest test. Indeed, suggesting that a Japanese company ownership of itself is an issue is borderline racist, especially for a company whose sole purpose is to distribute IP around the entire planet for a modest fee.

      The relocation of the company HQ or the jobs might pass a public interest test for government intervention. Such intervention may cost Softbank a small fortune, but that probably won't be a British government issue.

      You can judge the success or otherwise of government policy on other issues, but saying that government hasn't given ARM enough money is ridiculous.

      1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

        Re: Money issues

        They've done very well as a strictly private endeavour, not needing public money at all. What did you want the government to do? Nationalise it?

        This is it. If the UK had a healthy economy and thriving tech sector with great human resources, there would be no need for corporations like Arm to move somewhere where they can do business unhindered.

        It's like an abusive partner being upset that a spouse is leaving.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Money issues

          What are you on about? Arm's prospect are bound to the global economy, not the UK's. And it is hard to see how they could possibly have performed any better anywhere else; they've pretty much conquered the world, what more do you want?

          1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

            Re: Money issues

            You can be global as you want, but if you can't staff offices with talent and subcontractors become rare as hens teeth, everything gets more and more expensive and basics like healthcare and police crumbling, then what are your options?

  3. Howard Sway Silver badge

    That decision saw Johnson order ministers to lobby to secure a London listing.

    Ah, there's your reason. As soon as they met Liz Truss and Nadine Dorries, they would have decided "OK, New York it is then!"

    1. Warm Braw Silver badge

      Re: That decision saw Johnson order ministers to lobby to secure a London listing.

      Not to mention Captain Hogwash in her bath in full dress uniform surrendering her rubber duck to the Turkish navy. At least it's now clear what "an embarrassment of talent" means in practice.

      1. Androgynous Cupboard Silver badge

        Re: That decision saw Johnson order ministers to lobby to secure a London listing.

        I've been following the debacle in Westminster as closely as most I suspect, but I'm not immediately familiar with anyone surrendering a duck to the Turkish navy.

        What's really bothering me, though, is that although I suspect you're just waxing lyrical, there's a real possibility that an MP did actually climb into a bath in a dress uniform and that it just didn't notice because it was pushed to page 8 for being not nearly mad enough.

  4. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

    What money can't buy...

    Masayoshi Son may be a billionaire, but there is still time for Boris to offer him something he can't "buy" (directly) with all that money, in exchange for listing Arm in London...

    A mention in his resignation honours list - that itself is bound to be overflowing with paybacks for favours and debts.

    As for it being ethical, I don't think Boris would have a problem with that - whatever happened to his ethics advisor?. However, Boris is in demob mode - just waiting for him to do one more trip to Kyiv on Boris Force Onean unblighted military transport.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What money can't buy...

      I think you're right. It's about the only thing that the UK can offer that the US can't beat. The only question is how high up in the OBE ranks can Boris go without raising a stink.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What money can't buy...

        Can he go one better than - deep breath now - 'Baron Evgeny Lebedev, of Hampton in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and of Siberia in the Russian Federation'?

        1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
          Joke

          Re: What money can't buy...

          I guess hypothetically, he highest award would have to be an honorary knighthood.

          On the subject of hypotheticals, I wonder if one of the Lebedevs would have a word in Putin's ear for an award for Boris himself...

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orders%2C_decorations%2C_and_medals_of_Russia

        2. Francis Boyle Silver badge

          Sheesh!

          This Australian thought you were being sarcastic until he checked. I will know have to re-evaluate the rubber duck comment upthread.

          1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

            Re: Sheesh!

            Stock up on popcorn now for Boris' resignation honours list - it's going to be a stinker

  5. 3arn0wl Bronze badge

    Trade dispute...

    How would listing in the US affect Arm's status regarding the US tech trade dispute with China? Would it be deemed an American company, even if, say, a consortium of international chip design companies bought it?

    And why isn't it being floated on the Japanese stock market?

    To be honest... in a global world, I don't really understand why it makes a difference.

    (All seems to've gone quiet about ArmChina... I take it they're not AWOL anymore?)

    1. EnviableOne Silver badge

      Re: Trade dispute...

      as i said about 5 months ago now:

      depends where they list it

      New York - Great for US companies

      London - Vote of confidence in Post Brexit Britain

      Frankfurt - Vote of confidence in Europe (no-confidence in Britain)

      Hong Kong - Bad for the US, Good for china

      Tokyo - Where SoftBank is at, probably the best neutral location.

      but all of them will be competing, and it might end up dual listed

      1. 3arn0wl Bronze badge

        Re: Trade dispute...

        Hmmm - I still don't really get it!

        IF the location affects the trade dispute (either the US or Hong Kong) then surely the "Switzerland of ISAs" would want to avoid that.

        And politics aside (!) I would have thought that either the Tokyo market where, as you say, Softbank are located, or the London Exchange where Arm is headquartered, would be the logical places.

        What tangible benefits can any of the stock markets offer Softbank? I would have thought that the sale of Arm would garner the same international interest wherever it's sold?

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Other stories you might like