UK denies forcing Arm to list in London: no such plan

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson (Boris Johnson) spokesman said today that he is not aware of any plans by the government to try to force chip design company ARM to list in London. The Financial Times previously reported that government officials were considering forcing ARM to list in London. Asked on Wednesday whether "the government will use its new national security powers to try to force SoftBank-owned ARM to list in London," a spokesman for Johnson said: "I am not aware of any plans to do so."

Headquartered in the UK, ARM designs the chip architecture used in about 95% of the world's smartphones. The arm was listed in London and New York until SoftBank bought it for $32 billion in 2016. In February, SoftBank announced plans to bring ARM back to the market by March 2023, after NVIDIA's ARM acquisition deal fell through. SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son said at the time that ARM may be listed on Nasdaq in the United States, not in the United Kingdom.

Analysts said this would be a major blow to the UK government and the London Stock Exchange. For the U.K. government, it wants the country's biggest and best tech companies to list at home in order to benefit the wider economy and shore up its stock market. Over the years, however, many British businesses have crossed the Atlantic to list in New York. These companies believe they can achieve higher valuations on the Nasdaq or the New York Stock Exchange.

But it was reported earlier this month that SoftBank was tweaking ARM’s listing plans, possibly listing some of its shares on the London Stock Exchange and still keeping most of its shares in the U.S.

Britain introduced new legislation this year that gives the government the power to intervene in takeovers to protect national security. The Financial Times previously reported that the UK government has debated using the legislation to push ARM to list in London.

But some government officials said the law would not apply because the proposed listing would not be considered an acquisition. Britain's technology secretary, Chris Philp, said earlier this month that Britain was still involved in the ARM listing process.

"We're working as closely with ARM as we do with all the important tech companies in the UK," Phelps said.

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