According to reports, SoftBank Group Corp that acquired ARM Holdings plc. (NASDAQ:ARMH) last year is set to lay off a large stake in the UK tech giant to a Saudi-backed investment group.
Reports said, the Japan-based company will sell a 25% stake, worth $8 billion, to a technology fund it is creating with Saudi Arabia.
Last year in July SoftBank Group Corp invested £24 billion for the UK’s biggest technology company ARM Holdings (NASDAQ:ARMH). When the agreement was disclosed, UK prime minister, Theresa May said the deal was in the country’s national interest.
In the agreement, SoftBank Group made several pledges as part of the contract, together with assuring to keep ARM’s headquarters in Cambridge and agreeing to at least double the number of its workforce over the next five years.
ARM designs microchips used in most smart-phones, including Apple’s and Samsung’s, and is measured the gemstone in the crown of British technology.
This proposed sale arriving so soon after Softbank’s takeover could raise concerns over its commitments to the UK, however according to reports, Downing Street had been informed of the deal and did not raise any concerns.
Meanwhile Softbank is one of the world’s largest technology companies and is operated by its founder, Japanese entrepreneur Masayoshi Son. In the past Softbank had acquired Vodafone’s Japanese operations and the US telecoms giant Sprint.
The verdict to sell off the 25% stake in the Cambridge-based ARM is reported to be driven by Mr. Son’s wish to shelter the investment of Abu Dhabi state-backed investment group Mubadala in its new tech fund dubbed as Vision Fund.
The fund, which is supported by the Saudis, is seeking to raise $100 billion in total. If it goes through, it would make Mr Son one of the world’s biggest technology investors.
SoftBank Group and ARM Holdings (ARMH) both declined to comment on the reports.