The government has considered using national security laws to force Arm London’s listing

Wednesday, June 22, 2022 1:11 p.m.

(Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

Ministers have been considering using national security laws to push Japanese investment giant Softbank into floating chipmaker Arm into a listing in London, according to reports.

The government has debated applying Britain’s national security and investment law in a bid to prevent Arm from floating in New York, but reportedly backed down after some government officials objected to the idea, a reported the Financial Times, citing sources familiar with the matter.

Concerns were reportedly raised about the applicability of the settlement, given that the proposed listing was not considered an acquisition.

Ministers have instead launched a charm offensive on Arm bosses, with digital minister Chris Philp and investment minister Gerry Grimstone meeting Softbank bosses in recent months, and Boris Johnson writing to SoftBank to encourage them to float the company in the capital.

However, suggestions that the government had considered using national security laws would have angered SoftBank executives, the FT reported, because a deeper pool of tech investors in the United States meant that a New York made more business sense for the company.

A source close to the drafting of the National Investment and Security Law, which was introduced in January, said AM City that such a decision by the government would not, however, be possible under the law.

Speaking today, the Prime Minister’s spokesman said he was unaware of any plans to force the chip designer ARM to register in London.

Asked if the government would use new national security powers to try to force Arm to register in London, the spokesman said: ‘I am not aware of any plans to do so. “.

Digital Minister Chris Philp hinted last week that the government had made progress in its negotiations with SoftBank and that the company may be considering a dual listing in New York and London.

The company’s listing was seen as totemic in the UK’s role of promoting itself as a technology hub, due to both the strategic importance of the chip-making facilities and the potential size of the listing , which could fetch a valuation of around $50 billion.

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