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Stealth UK tech giant ARM sells out to Japan’s Softbank for £24bn

UK chipset designer ARM is to be bought by Japan’s Softbank for £24 billion, the companies have confirmed today.

Processors designed by Cambridge’s ARM are present in smartphone handsets from Apple to Samsung, but the company has typically eschewed the production of chips in favour of licensing out its IP.

It had just over 30 per cent market share across mobile, network infrastructure, servers and IoT last year, competing with the likes of Intel to get chips it’s designed into connected devices.

The Japanese conglomerate, which also owns US telco Sprint, has vowed to keep its Cambridge HQ and says it will double its 3,000 staff over the next five years.

But this is something of a blow for those that want to keep the value created by British tech firms within the UK.

The new Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond, however, has said the sale proves that: “Britain is open for business – and open to foreign investment.

“Softbank’s decision confirms that Britain remains one of the most attractive destinations globally for investors to create jobs and wealth.”