SoftBank to buy ARM for 24bn

UK processor firm will keep Cambridge base, expects to double workforce

By Dan Pearson.Published Monday 18th July 2016, 8:32am GMT

UK based tech firm ARM, which predominantly designs processor chips for mobile devices, is being acquired for around 24 billion billion ($32bn) by Japanese conglomerate SoftBank, the company has announced.

The deal was rumoured over the weekend, but was confirmed this morning in a press release from SoftBank itself. The proposed price, which is expected to be recommended to shareholders by the ARM board, is 17 per share: a 43% premium on Friday's closing market price of 11.89.

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ARM has said that it will retain its base in Cambridge, UK, and expects to at least double its 3000 strong workforce over the next five years. Softbank is expecting to make the most of the burgeoning market in chips destined for the "internet of things" - everyday consumer electronics goods such as fridges which are fitted with processors and connected to the internet.

"This is one of the most important acquisitions we have ever made, and I expect ARM to be a key pillar of SoftBank's growth strategy going forward," said SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son. "We have long admired ARM as a world renowned and highly respected technology company that is by some distance the market leader in its field."

SoftBank has been ameliorating some of its debts recently by selling off some assets, including selling its majority share in Supercell to Chinese conglomerate Tencent last month.

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