Worth 3 Supercells: SoftBank gets back into the expansion game with $32 billion acquisition of ARM

Indebted Japanese firm spends more

Date Type Companies involved Size
July 18th, 2016 acquisition ARM
Worth 3 Supercells: SoftBank gets back into the expansion game with $32 billion acquisition of ARM

In a surprise move, Japanese investment outfit SoftBank has bought UK chip designer ARM in a $32 billion all-cash move.

The deal sees Softbank paying a 43% premium to the previous share prices of the FTSE-listed company.

The cost of the £24 billion deal will be somewhat lessened, however, for the Japanese company given the decline of the UK currency against the dollar following the Brexit vote on 23 June.

Cash and debt

The deal is surprising as Softbank has been selling assets such as its $10 billion stake in Alibaba and mobile developer Supercell for around $10 billion in what was thought to be a move to cut its $106 billion debt pile.

It also has around $23 billion in cash and equivalents, but will have to take on more debt to complete the ARM deal.

"ARM will be an excellent strategic fit within the SoftBank group as we invest to capture the very significant opportunities provided by the 'Internet of Things,'" said Softbank's chief executive, Masayoshi Son.

Back in the game

The acquisition comes at a significant junction for SoftBank, which recently lost its CEO-in-waiting, ex-Googler Nikesh Arora.

He left when Masayoshi Son decided he wasn't going to step back from the top job, as previously agreed.

In this way, the ARM deal is a mark of his commitment to making big, longterm decisions.

As for ARM's future, Softbank says it plans to double its 4,000 headcount over the coming years.

Contributing Editor

A Pocket Gamer co-founder, Jon is Contributing Editor at which means he acts like a slightly confused uncle who's forgotten where he's left his glasses. As well as letters and cameras, he likes imaginary numbers and legumes.


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