Japanese mobile giant SoftBank today snapped up iPhone chip designer ARM Holdings for £24.3 billion, the pair announced in a major boost for post-Brexit Britain.
Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May declared that the record Asian investment proved “Britain is open for business”, just three weeks after Britons voted to leave the European Union.
The all-cash deal, worth the equivalent of $32 billion or 29 billion euros, was unanimously backed by ARM management, the two companies revealed in a statement.
“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,” said SoftBank chairman and chief executive Masayoshi Son.
“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.”
May had given her backing on yesterday after talking with Son, whose company has vowed to double ARM’s British workforce and keep its headquarters in the university city of Cambridge.
“I have spoken to SoftBank directly. They have confirmed their commitment to keep the company in Cambridge and to invest further to double the number of UK jobs over five years,” May told lawmakers in the House of Commons.
“This £24-billion investment will be the largest ever Asian investment in the UK. It is a clear demonstration that Britain is open for business, as attractive to international investment as ever.”
Prior to becoming prime minister, May had pledged a “proper industrial strategy” for closer scrutiny of foreign takeovers of British firms.