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Japan’s SoftBank to buy British chipmaker ARM

The Japanese cellphone carrier SoftBank is buying the chipmaker ARM, the most valuable tech company listed in London. The deal is one of the most valuable in the European tech sector to date.

ARM said Monday that SoftBank had agreed to pay 24.3 billion pounds ($32 billion, 29.6 billion euros) for the British chip designer, whose processors can be found in most major companies’ smartphones and tablets.

The acquisition will mark SoftBank’s largest ever, eclipsing its purchase of a controlling stake in thewireless operator Sprint in 2013 for $22 billion.

ARM said the deal would not only preserve jobs at the company, including senior management, but also grow its workforce in the UK and abroad. SoftBank said it planned to keep ARM’s headquarters in Cambridge, England.

In a statement, Britain’s new finance minister, Philip Hammond, said the planned transaction was evidence that the UK remained an attractive location for investment even after the country’s June 23 vote to leave the European Union.

“Just three weeks after the referendum decision, it shows that Britain has lost none of its allure to international investors,” Chancellor of the Exchequer Hammond said.

cjc/kd (Reuters, dpa)

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