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Arm files for IPO, but SoftBank will retain control

Arm has secretly filed for a public listing that its owner, SoftBank, says will see the chip design firm remain a subsidiary.

Arm on Saturday announced “that it has confidentially submitted a draft registration statement on Form F-1 to the US Securities and Exchange Commission relating to the proposed initial public offering of American depositary shares representing its ordinary shares.”

On Monday SoftBank (SBG) also announced the confidential application to list, but added the following important factoid:

SBG intends that Arm will continue to be a consolidated subsidiary of SBG following the completion of the proposed initial public offering. SBG does not expect that any such offering would have a material effect on its consolidated results or financial position.

That wording is confirmation that SoftBank intends to retain a majority holding in Arm even after the listing. Stating that the float won’t have a material impact on its results or financial position suggests only a small slice of Arm will be floated.

Arm’s Saturday disclosure doesn’t indicate the outfit filed on the weekend, as the United States Securities and Exchange Commission allows non-public filings. The disclosure may instead reflect Arm’s decision to confirm the accuracy of reports of the float, rather than let speculation run rife. TheRegister

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