British chip maker Arm considering secondary listing in London to allow investors to trade its shares here as well as in US
British chip maker Arm is considering a secondary listing in London to allow investors to trade its shares here as well as in the US.
Such a decision would be regarded as a concession to those who have pressed for shares of the £30billion technology firm to be listed in the City – closer to its Cambridge base – rather than in New York.
It would also potentially lift the value of the shares because traders and investors on two continents would be able to buy them more easily.
Chips are down: Arm’s owner SoftBank said it planned to float Arm on the Nasdaq exchange in New York after sale talks with US tech giant Nvidia collapsed
Last week, Arm’s owner SoftBank said it planned to float Arm on the Nasdaq exchange in New York after sale talks with US tech giant Nvidia collapsed.
Masayoshi Son, founder of SoftBank, said last week: ‘We think that the Nasdaq stock exchange in the US – which is at the centre of global high tech – would be most suitable for a listing.’
That announcement came as a blow to the City of London, which has overhauled its stock exchange rules in an attempt to attract fast-growing technology gems including Arm.
But last night Arm – which sells microchips to tech giants including Apple for use in mobile phones – said it was too early in the process to comment on a final decision. A spokesman said the company was ‘considering all options’.
A source close to Government said he expected that Arm would still list in the UK, even if it chooses to float in New York, giving British investors easier access to buy its shares.
He added: ‘There’s a real enthusiasm for listings to be done here. I’m sure if it gets listed in the US it will get listed in the UK.’
Billionaire Peter Hargreaves, one of the biggest donors to the Conservative party, said: ‘We would have liked the UK to retain it. We struggle to find companies with the potential of Arm that are quoted in Europe.’
Arm was dual-listed in London and New York until 2016 when SoftBank bought it for $32billion (£24billion).
Losing the semiconductor firm to New York would be regarded as a blow after the Government ramped up efforts to persuade technology firms to list here.
Xavier Rolet, the former chief executive of the London Stock Exchange, said if Britain wants to attract more tech entrepreneurs it must allow private non-professional investors to buy into flotations. He added that the Government should also drop stamp duty of 0.5 per cent on share purchases by such investors.
Rolet added: ‘If you’re not going to do that, you’re going to have undersized stock markets.’