Published: Thu, March 09, 2017
Money | By Oscar Reynolds

ARM chip designer stake 'to be sold by Softbank'

ARM chip designer stake 'to be sold by Softbank'

According to Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund's statement a year ago, it would contribute up to $45 billion.

- The stake that might be transferred into the SoftBank Vision Fund could amount to roughly $8 billion, or 25 percent of ARM, the Financial Times reported on March 8.

Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund is the Vision Fund's biggest investor with a $45 billion commitment, while SoftBank has promised to put $25 billion into the venture that aims to turn SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son's into the "Warren Buffett of tech".

The move is likely to reopen the debate about the future of one of Britain's most promising companies in foreign hands, just months after the takeover was criticised as the latest sign of the United Kingdom technology industry's lack of ambition, and a predatory swoop just weeks after the Brexit vote.

ARM representatives declined to comment when contacted by The Register, while other news agencies said Softbank declined to provide them a comment too.

The stake sale coming so soon after Softbank's purchase could raise concerns over its commitments to the United Kingdom, but the FT said that Downing Street had been notified of the transaction and did not raise any concerns.

Mubadala said: "We're having ongoing, fruitful discussions over our participation in the fund".

"Arm is certainly a strong technology company with great, continued potential. The Abu Dhabi group has been focused on growing its technology investments over the past decade, including in the semiconductor sector", a Mubadala spokesperson said.

It was understood that the Prime Minister's office was not raising any concerns over the deal, according to the Financial Times. While completing the acquisition, the Japanese conglomerate made numerous commitments as a part of the deal, which included that it would keep the ARM headquarters in Cambridge. Hermann Hauser, Arm's founder, described the deal as one of the "sad and unintended consequences" of Brexit.

In anticipation of the fund's first closing, Mr Son has been striking deals.

However, a recent $3.3bn deal by SoftBank to acquire Fortress Investment Group, the USA alternative asset manager, will not be offered to the fund.

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