Boris Johnson has joined the lobbying effort to convince British chip designer Arm to float to London, as the government fears the damage of losing to New York in the battle to attract top tech companies looking to s ‘to inscribe.
After the collapse of the $66 billion sale of the Cambridge-based company to US firm Nvidia earlier this year, Masayoshi Son, the chief executive of Arm’s Japanese parent company Softbank, immediately snubbed the UK for an IPO.
“We think the Nasdaq stock exchange in the United States, which is at the center of global high technology, would be the most appropriate,” he said in February.
Johnson joined lobbying efforts already underway by London Stock Exchange executives and a number of government departments and senior officials, writing a letter to Softbank executives, according to the Financial Times.
The effort includes the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), the Treasury, the Business Department as well as Downing Street. Digital Minister Chris Philp and Gerry Grimstone, the former chairman of Barclays who now heads the UK Investment Office, are leading the lobbying efforts.
While the chances of SoftBank changing its mind are seen as slim, Arm once had a dual listing on both sides of the Atlantic, before being bought by the Japanese company for £24.6bn in 2016 .
Arm had been a member of the FTSE 100 for 18 years and winning him back would be a huge boost to the capital’s longer-term ambitions to have more tech floats, while losing him would be a blow to that goal.
Analysts estimate Arm would float with a market value of $30 billion to $40 billion, making it the biggest tech company on the London Stock Exchange, more than double the size of current leader Ocado.
On this scale, Arm would also rank between the 19th and 24th largest listed company in the UK.
A government spokesperson said: “We want to make the UK the most attractive place for innovative businesses to grow and raise capital. SoftBank, Arm and the LSE declined to comment.
In December, Paul Marshall, chairman of investment manager Marshall Wallace, said the UK and European stock markets were becoming the “Jurassic Park” of global stock markets.
He wrote in the Financial Times: “UK stock market becomes global backwater as US and Chinese markets surge. He largely failed to participate in the world rally which started in 2015.
“We are getting to the point where companies can decide that we should just agree on one global exchange, trading 24 hours a day and located in New York. »
Last year, new rules were introduced in an attempt to make London more attractive to tech companies, including allowing dual-class share structures, which give founders more control after launching a business, and reducing to 10 the number of shares to be offered to the public. %.