Arm files for Nasdaq listing, as SoftBank aims to sell shares in chip designer it bought for $32 billion

Arm, a prominent chip designer owned by SoftBank, has taken steps to go public by filing for a listing on the Nasdaq stock exchange. This move comes amid a period of relatively low activity in the tech IPO space. The company aims to trade under the ticker symbol “ARM.”

In its fiscal year 2023, which ended in March, Arm reported $524 million in net income and $2.68 billion in revenue. While its revenue for 2023 dipped slightly compared to the $2.7 billion recorded in 2022, Arm remains a key player in the semiconductor industry. The company chose to file confidentially for a U.S. listing, departing from its earlier plan to go public on the London Stock Exchange.

Arm’s significance lies in its provision of licenses for an instruction set architecture that forms the basis of nearly every mobile chip, extending its reach into PC and server chips as well. To bolster its earnings, Arm has been working towards selling more comprehensive chip designs.

The wide adoption of Arm’s technology is evident through partnerships with major tech companies such as Amazon, Alphabet, AMD, Intel, Nvidia, Qualcomm, Samsung, and Apple. Its technology underpins over 30 billion chips that were shipped in its fiscal year 2023, and the company typically earns a fee for every chip that incorporates its technology.

SoftBank’s original plan was to sell Arm to Nvidia, a leading chip manufacturer. However, this deal faced significant resistance from regulatory authorities due to concerns related to competition and national security. As a result, SoftBank made Arm a private entity in 2016 through a $32 billion deal.

Arm, which employs nearly 6000 individuals, holds a crucial role in the realm of consumer electronics by designing the architecture of chips present in approximately 99% of all smartphones. Its technology serves as a vital component for tech giants like Apple, Google, and Qualcomm.