SoftBank files for Arm IPO


The initial public offering (IPO), set to take place in September, would be the largest US IPO in nearly two years

This week, Arm has made its first public filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for its IPO, preparing to sell billions of dollars-worth of shares on the Nasdaq market.

The filing indicates that SoftBank has acquired full control of Arm, having purchased the 25% stake in Arm held by the SoftBank Vision Fund for $16.1 billion. As a result, Arm likely has a valuation of over $64 billion.

The number of shares to be made available has yet to be announced, though previous reports have suggested that SoftBank will seek to sell up to a 10% stake in the company, which, at the above estimation, would be worth around $6.4 billion.

Arm’s importance to the global technology ecosystem should not be underestimated. The chip specialist’s technology sits in more than 90% of smartphones, as well as a host of other devices, from laptops to specialist networking equipment.

According to its filing with the SEC, Arm estimates that “approximately 70% of the world’s population uses Arm-based products”.

SoftBank first took Arm private for $32 billion back in 2016. By 2020, however, SoftBank were looking to offload the company, eventually agreeing a sale of Arm to rival chip specialist NVIDIA for $40 billion. This deal ultimately fell through in 2022, with the companies citing numerous complex factors, from the global economic downturn caused by the pandemic to the onerous regulatory hurdles the deal would need to clear.

Since then, SoftBank has instead turned its attention to the possibility of an IPO, including reportedly holding talks with numerous tech companies over potential investment, including Amazon and Nvidia.

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