Arm Limited, the British semiconductor and software design company that had been acquired by SoftBank a few years ago, has confidentially filed for an initial public offering (IPO) to list in the stock market in the US. According to an official statement by the company, Arm confidentially filed with regulators on April 29. This development is sure to be a disappointment to the UK government, which has tried several times to draw the listing of Arm back to its home country
The chipmaker submitted a draft registration statement on Form F-1 to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) related to the “proposed initial public offering of American depositary shares representing its ordinary shares.” For now, the size and price range of the intended IPO are yet to be determined, but from the looks of it, it might just be the largest IPO this year. For now, the IPO is subject to market and other conditions and the completion of the SEC’s review process. According to media reports, which cite people familiar with the matter, Arm plans to sell its shares on Nasdaq later this year and raise $8-10 billion.
The announcement of Arm’s confidential filing for an IPO in the US resulted in a small rise in SoftBank’s shares. Currently, the shares of the Japanese behemoth are priced at 5142 JPY ($37.57) per share. Arm’s decision to file for an IPO is a surprising one, given that it comes amidst adverse conditions in the market and declining valuations.
Despite going public, however, SoftBank will maintain its majority holding in Arm. The Japanese company noted in its official statement that Arm will continue to be its consolidated subsidiary following the completion of the proposed IPO and that SoftBank “does not expect that any such offering would have a material effect on its consolidated results or financial position.” Arm CEO Rene Haas is expected to join SoftBank’s board of directors in June.
For those who need a refresher, SoftBank acquired Arm Holdings in 2016 for a total of $32 billion. Arm is best known for designing microprocessors that are used in a wide range of devices, from smartphones to smart speakers to supercomputers. The IPO is expected to generate significant interest from investors, given Arm’s strong reputation and the growing demand for semiconductors in various industries.
The COVID-19 pandemic, at that time, led to a surge in demand for semiconductors, due to the unprecedented shift towards working from home and the rise in the usage of digital devices to stay connected. Since then, however, Arm’s fortunes took a turn for the worse as the demand for chips dropped significantly amidst the slowdown in the global economy. SoftBank has hardly fared any better, given that the company’s recent financials leave much to be desired.