From the TechCrunch site today look at the intriguing article from Ingrid Lunden exploring the SoftBank £24B deal. ***(@ingridlunden)
Just after Softbank confirmed plans to acquire UK semiconductor company ARM Holdings for $24.3 billion in cash earlier today, people began to wonder if it was the result of the pound falling in the wake of the Brexit referendum vote. Not so, said Softbank’s CEO and founder Masayoshi Son.
In a press conference soon after the news broke, Masayoshi said that he only began acquisition discussions with ARM two weeks ago, yet the price was reached not with consideration for Brexit or the decline in the sterling currency, but Softbank’s interest in investing in IoT.
“Brexit did not affect my decision,” he said. “Many people many are worried about Brexit and concerned about he complex situation of the country, but good or bad… I did not make the investment because of Brexit.”
“It’s true that I only met the ARM chairman [Stuart Chambers] only two weeks ago. That was the day I said I was interested in acquiring ARM. That was the first time,” he said earlier, adding that he had met with former and current CEOs multiple times talking about joint ventures or a business alliance.
Masayoshi Son said that although the price of the pound declined by about 16% in the past two weeks, ARM’s share price went up by about the same amount, meaning they cancelled each other out. And there were other financial factors in play as well: in recent weeks, Softbank sold a chunk of its Alibaba stake and its stake in Supercell, and today it announced a large loan for some $9 billion (¥1 trillion). “This is not opportunistic about the currency,” he joked. “I have wanted to do this but was waiting for the cash to come in.”