arm ipo: SoftBank’s Arm aims for over $52 billion valuation in biggest US IPO of the year


SoftBank Group’s Arm is seeking a valuation of more than $52 billion in its initial public offering as the chip designer heads for the biggest stock market flotation of the year.

SoftBank is offering 95.5 million American depository shares of the Cambridge, United Kingdom-based company for $47 to $51 apiece and aims to raise up to $4.87 billion at the top of the range, a regulatory filing showed on Tuesday.

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Its recent deal to acquire the 25% stake in Arm that it did not already own from its Vision Fund unit had valued the company at $64 billion.

The Japanese conglomerate will own 90.6% of Arm’s ordinary shares after the offering closes, the company said in a filing.

Arm’s return to the public markets will be a milestone for SoftBank, as it taps several marquee technology names as investors in the company whose designs power more than 99% of the world’s smartphones.

The listing is expected to buoy the IPO market globally and fuel other startups to move ahead with their offerings as Arm’s success signals the return of investor appetite for high-growth technology companies.

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Reuters first reported on SoftBank’s proposed price range for the IPO on Saturday. Sources also said it could possibly raise this range before the IPO prices, should investor demand prove strong. Arm has signed up many of its major clients as investors in its IPO, Reuters reported on Friday, including Apple, Nvidia, Alphabet, Advanced Micro Devices , Intel and Samsung Electronics.

SoftBank’s current range reflects a drop in valuation for Arm from last month’s Vision Fund deal, but the interest in the IPO remains robust, fueled by a desire of its clients to expand their commercial relationship with Arm and make sure rivals do not gain an edge, Reuters has previously reported.

Arm, whose impressive client roster includes the world’s biggest tech giants, generates a big share of its revenue through royalty fees based on either the average selling price of the customer’s Arm-based chip or a fixed fee per chip.

For the year ended March 31, Arm’s sales fell to $2.68 billion, hurt mainly by a slump in global smartphone shipments.

Barclays, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase , and Mizuho Financial Group are the lead underwriters for the offering.

Arm, which has tapped a total of 28 banks for the IPO, has not picked a traditional “lead left” bank and will split underwriter fees evenly among the top four banks.

Arm expects to trade on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol “ARM”.

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