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Cambridge Tech firm ARM Holdings in £24.3bn sale to Japanese giant

By Adrian Curtis

ARM Holdings sold for £24.3bn to Japanese giant Softbank
ARM Holdings sold for £24.3bn to Japanese giant Softbank

Softbank promise 3,000 more jobs in five years following takeover

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
Masayoshi Son, Chairman and Chief Executive of Softbank

Japanese technology giant Softbank will give the city a massive jobs boost after acquiring Cambridge firm ARM Holdings for £24.3bn.

The deal will provide 3,000 more jobs with the Japanese company intending to keep their headquarters at Fulbourn.

ARM Holdings was set-up in 1990 and designs chips used in smartphones manufactured by Apple and Samsung.

The firm currently employs 3,000 people but Softbank have confirmed they aim to double that figure within the next five years.

Softbank is one of the world’s biggest technology companies and is run by its founder, Japanese entrepreneur Masayoshi Son.

Mr 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. ARM will be an excellent strategic fit with the Softbank group as we invest to capture the very significant opportunities provided by the internet of things”

The deal was one of the first major investments in Britain since the country voted to leave Europe and was championed by the government’s chancellor Phillip Hammond.

Mr Hammond said: “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.

“And as ARM’s founders will testify, this is the greatest place in the world to start and grow a technology business,”

Stuart Chambers, chairman of ARM added: “The Board is reassured that ARM will remain a very significant UK business and will continue to play a key role in the development of new technology. SoftBank has given assurances that it will invest considerably in the business, including doubling the UK headcount over the next five years and maintaining ARM’s unique culture and business model.

“ARM is an outstanding company with an exceptional track record of growth. The Board believes that by accessing all the resources that SoftBank has to offer, ARM will be able to further accelerate the use of ARM-based technology wherever computing happens.”

ARM has come a long way since its first chip was shipped in 1991.

It took a decade for ARM to reach one billion chips but the explosion in mobile phone and then smartphones, of of their key early markets, that it took them just 13 years to get to 60 billion in 2014.

Their chips are now found in everything from everyday devices such as digital TVs and washing machines to the machines that host the cloud on the largest server farms.

Councillor Lewis Herbert, Leader of Cambridge City Council said: “Given the momentous scale of this takeover, it is an important reassurance to staff and our residents that ARM Holdings will continue to operate and have its headquarters in Cambridge, and that the detailed and well advanced plan to double the size of its operations here will proceed as proposed.

“While future decisions affecting hundreds of local ARM employees will be taken in Japan as well as the UK, it is also good news that they will preserve the firm’s operating structure, including retaining the Cambridge and wider senior management team and their partnership-based business model.”


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