SoftBank Switches on to IoT Hardware, Buys ARM for $32 Billion

Japanese investment and telecoms group SoftBank has agreed to pay some $32 billion (GBP 24.3 billion) for U.K.-based ARM. The company designs chips for phones and computers and is positioned as a leader in the so-called ‘Internet of Things.’

The move represents a massive bet for SoftBank on hardware and technology and a change of direction following the departure of high profile executive Nikesh Arora in June.

SoftBank has recently sold off or reduced its stakes in the content side of the media, Internet and entertainment sectors. Recently it sold its majority stake in mobile-game maker Supercell to China’s Tencent and trimmed its stake in Alibaba. It also sold its minority stake in Legendary Entertainment to China’s Wanda.

ARM is listed on NASDAQ in the U.S., but the deal represents another example of ‘Brexit,’ which sent the value of the pound tumbling, making U.K. companies cheaper as acquisition targets. Another Brexit deal last week saw the Odeon / UCI cinema chain agree to be acquired by Chinese-owned U.S. theaters group AMC. Softbank said that it will double the number of employees in the U.K. from ARM’s current 4,000.


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