Japanese telecommunications giant, SoftBank Group Corp. announces a definitive procurement agreement with U.K.-based chip-designer ARM Holdings PLC valued more than $32 billion.
The all-cash deal, which is expected to be announced today before the opening of London trading, comes alongside SoftBank Chief Executive Masayoshi Son’s decision to regain the company’s investment strategy from his former deputy and designated successor, Nikesh Arora, who resigned in June.
The Cambridge-based firm, ARM holding is asserted as the most precious jewel in the crown of British technology.
Its microchip designs are in an array of devices including Apple’s iPhone.
The Japanese company considered ARM well placed to exploit the “internet of things” – the embedding of microchips in whole new categories of household and business devices.
The proposed takeover of ARM poses a dilemma for the new government. Along with high executive pay, Prime Minister Theresa May has put foreign takeovers on her radar of business dealings that may be bad for the national interest.
SoftBank, an internet and telecommunications conglomerate that strategically invests in online startups from India to China and owns mobile carriers in Japan and the U.S., has been raising cash in recent months to foster its war chest and pay down debt.
The ARM deal also comes less than a month after the U.K.’s decision to leave the European Union and splurged the value of the pound, potentially making British companies much more attractive bargains for buyers from overseas.
The Japanese company has previously acquired Vodafone’s Japanese operations and the US telecoms company Sprint. The $20bn deal was the biggest foreign acquisition by a Japanese firm at the time.