SoftBank to put US$8 billion ARM stake into its Vision Fund: Report

SoftBank will be placing a roughly US$8 billion (S$11.2 billion) stake in British chip designer ARM.
SoftBank will be placing a roughly US$8 billion (S$11.2 billion) stake in British chip designer ARM. PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON/ABU DHABI (REUTERS) - Japan's SoftBank is to place a roughly US$8 billion (S$11.2 billion) stake in ARM, the British chip designer it bought last year, into a technology investment fund it has created with Saudi Arabia, the Financial Times reported on Wednesday.

SoftBank, run by founder Masayoshi Son, bought ARM, Britain's most valuable technology company, for US$32 billion last year.

The FT cited two people close to the situation as saying SoftBank would place 25 per cent of ARM into its Vision Fund. It said the decision was made as the fund was seeking to secure the backing of Mubadala, the Abu Dhabi state-backed investment group, which wanted the Vision Fund to own a portion of ARM.

The FT said the British government, which backed the initial takeover, had been notified of the transaction and did not raise any concerns.

Softbank declined to comment.

Mr Son and Saudia Arabia's sovereign wealth fund created the technology investment fund that could grow as large as US$100 billion and become a kingpin in the high-tech industry.

Mubadala said in January that it was in talks with SoftBank to invest in the fund. A source familiar with the talks told Reuters at the time that Mubadala might invest between US$10 billion and US$15 billion, and that an agreement could be signed in the following few weeks.

On Wednesday, a Mubadala spokesman told Reuters that the talks were continuing and that the Abu Dhabi group hoped to resolve remaining issues in the next couple of days.

The issues relate to structural and financial details of the investment as well as aspects of the fund and Mubadala's role in it, he said, declining to elaborate or give a specific figure for the size of the investment.

"It will be a significant investment - we are working through it," the spokesman said, adding that an announcement was likely to be made around the middle of next week.