Softbank to acquire microchip supplier ARM


Japanese telecommunications group SoftBank has announced it is to acquire British microchip supplier ARM Holdings, to take advantage of opportunities available in the Internet of Things (IoT) market.


Softbank, one of the world’s largest technology firms, confirmed the £24bn takeover of the UK business on 18 July, stating ARM will be a key part of its growth strategy, particularly in embedding microchips in new categories of household and business devices.


Masayoshi Son, chairman and chief executive of Softbank, said: "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."


"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," Son added.


"ARM will be an excellent strategic fit with the Softbank group as we invest to capture the very significant opportunities provided by the IoT."


The Cambridge-based chipmaker designs microchips used in smartphones, including devices produced by Apple and Samsung. It has announced it will keep its headquarters in Cambridge and will at least double the number of staff over the next five years.


This acquisition may raise concerns for the UK technology industry with Theresa May, the UK prime minister, voicing concerns that foreign takeovers pose a threat to the UK economy as the government embarks upon negotiations to withdraw from the European Union.


However, SoftBank’s move to acquire ARM is a sign that the vote has yet to deter all foreign firms investing in UK businesses.


"Britain is open for business - and open to foreign investment. Softbank’s decision confirms that Britain remains one of the most attractive destinations globally for investors to create jobs and wealth,” chancellor Phillip Hammond said in response to news of the takeover.


The Japanese company has said it plans to retain ARM’s existing organisational structure, including its senior management and partnership-based business model.


This article is a piece of independent writing by a member of Procurement Leaders’ content team.