iPhone chip designer ARM to be snapped up for $32 billion

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ARM just sold for an arm and a leg.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

ARM Holdings, a.k.a. the company responsible for the mobile processor architecture which powers the iPhone and iPad, looks set to be bought by Japan’s SoftBank for an eye-watering (iWatering?) $32 billion, it has confirmed.

ARM’s board will recommend that shareholders accept the deal, which represents 43 percent over the company’s closing market value as per Friday. The news caused shares in ARM to leap up by 45 percent to 1,742.85p per share when the London Stock Exchange opened this morning.

Founded in 1990, ARM currently employs around 3,000 people — and has said that it expects to double its number of staff over the next fives years. It has also said that it will keep its headquarters in Cambridge, England, despite the company’s new ownership, as well as its existing senior management and partnership-based business model.

In a statement, Masayoshi Son, chairman and chief executive of SoftBank, said: “This is one of the most important acquisitions we have ever made, and I expect ARM to be a key pillar of SoftBank’s growth strategy going forward.

SoftBank’s Masayoshi Son has previously taken credit for helping the iPhone get started in Japan, where one out of ever four smartphones sold are now reportedly made by Apple. According to Son, he was one of the first-non Apple people to talk to Jobs about the iPhone.

Source: BBC