London party

SoftBank halts work on Chip Designer Arm’s London IPO, says FT

(Bloomberg) – SoftBank Group Corp. suspended plans for an initial public offering in London from chip designer Arm Ltd. due to political unrest in the UK government, the Financial Times reported, citing people briefed on talks between the UK government and the Japanese tech investor.

Investment minister Gerry Grimstone and digital minister Chris Philp quit as Boris Johnson’s government crumbled under pressure from his own party. The two had played leading roles in talks with SoftBank to list the division in Britain.

Johnson had personally pressured billionaire SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son to at least partially list the company in the UK, the newspaper reported. Son had said as recently as June that he had not made a final decision on where to register, and dual registration in Britain and the United States was under consideration.

SoftBank and Arm declined to comment to the newspaper. The UK government did not immediately respond to the FT’s request for comment.

Arm, which SoftBank acquired in 2016, is based in Cambridge, England. Arm was one of the largest technology companies in the UK before the purchase and still does the majority of its business there. An IPO that would only be listed in the United States would be a blow to the UK government and capital markets.

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