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Japan's SoftBank completes acquisition of UK processor giant ARM in $32.6bn mega-deal

In July, Japanese telecommunications giant SoftBank announced its planned acquisition of ARM Holdings, the UK firm whose processor designs are used in a vast array of devices all over the world. The deal was finally valued at £24.4 billion GBP (currently $32.6 billion USD), and today, the acquisition has been completed.

The deal is SoftBank's largest takeover so far, dwarfing even its $20 billion spend to acquire a majority stake in US carrier Sprint. It's also the biggest acquisition of any company in the British tech sector to date.

ARM doesn't build processors itself, but its chip designs are virtually ubiquitous. Chips based on ARM technology can be found in a huge range of devices - from smartphones and tablets, to notebooks, networking equipment, embedded devices, wearables, and many more.

SoftBank is also keenly interested in ARM's power-efficient processor designs ahead of predicted growth in the Internet of Things market over the coming years. ARM earns royalties for the use of its processor designs by other companies, and as demand for low-power chips increases, SoftBank is betting that its investment will pay off in a big way.

ARM will be delisted from the London Stock Exchange and NASDAQ [PDF], but even under Japanese ownership, SoftBank maintains that the company will remain a strong force in the British technology sector.

SoftBank said that it will retain ARM's headquarters in Cambridge, England, along with its senior management, although the chip designer's chairman, and several non-executive directors, have now stepped down. SoftBank has also pledged to double the number of staff at ARM's Cambridge facility over the next five years, as well as creating an additional 1,500 jobs outside the UK.

Source: ARM / SoftBank [PDF]

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