This friendly all-cash takeover for the equivalent of 29 billion euros, is unanimously recommended by the directors of ARM, the two groups announced Monday in a joint statement.
“ We have long admired ARM as a company known worldwide technology sector and leader in its field ,” explained the CEO of Softbank, Masayoshi Son.
“ This is one of our largest acquisitions ever made and ARM should be an important pillar of SoftBank’s growth strategy in the future ” a-t- he adds.
This investment will capture “ very significant opportunities for the Internet of Things ,” said Masayoshi Son, in reference to the development of connected objects in homes as in companies.
ARM, which provides particular components for the iPhone in the US Apple but also for the products of Samsung or Huawei, was long considered a potential target by analysts.
The designer of microprocessors, founded in 1990, employs 4,000 people worldwide and believes that its technologies are used in 95% of smartphones, 80% of digital cameras and 35% of all electronic devices .
SoftBank announced its intention to maintain the seat of ARM in the university city of Cambridge and “ at least double ” the number of company employees UK over five years.
– ‘Britain has not lost its appeal’ –
These pledges are intended to appease probably the new British Prime Minister, Theresa May, who advocated a “ real industrial strategy ” for the country and has been reluctant to even British gems fall into foreign hands.
In a recent speech, she has criticized previous governments for leaving to the redemption of Cadbury by US Kraft or not reacting when the pharmaceutical giant Pfizer has a close interest in British AstraZeneca.
But the new British government on Monday welcomed “ the biggest investment from Asia ” in the country, especially seeing it as a sign that the country had not lost its attractiveness despite the turmoil and uncertainty caused by Brexit.
“ Only three weeks after the decision of the referendum, it shows that Britain has not lost its appeal for international investors “, commented the new chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond.
“ The decision to SoftBank confirms that Britain remains one of the most attractive destinations in the world for investors who want to create jobs and wealth ” added the Conservative finance minister.
If analysts believe that redemption proceeds from a real industrial logic – while ARM has extended its business beyond mobile to the connected objects – there is also an opportunity to see effect.
“ You can see in this operation the effect of Brexit and fall of the British pound, while British companies become ripe to be the target of takeover bids “said Neil Wilson, analyst at ETX Capital.
The British currency has indeed lost ground against other major currencies following the decision of the UK to leave the European Union at the June 23 referendum. This makes it relatively cheaper British companies to foreign investors.
“ Many other British companies could soon fall into the hands of foreign ,” added Neil Wilson.
ARM is however not really cheap for SoftBank, especially as its share has increased significantly in recent times.
Following the surprise announcement of the takeover, the action still ARM Holdings soared 40% Monday morning.