Japan's Softbank has agreed to acquire ARM Holdings, the giant U.K. semiconductor firm that supplies part of the chip design used in Apple iPhones, in a deal worth more than $32 billion, the companies announced on Monday.
ARM, the largest London-listed tech company by market value, is a major presence in mobile processing, with its processor and graphics technology used by Samsung, Huawei, and Apple in their in-house microchips.
Components based on technology licensed by ARM are found in the vast majority of the world's smartphones, and the Cambridge-based group has branched into other connected devices as smartphone growth slows.
As part of its bid to bolster its presence in the growing internet of things (IoT) sector, Softbank will pay £17 per share (about $22.50 a share) for ARM, a 43 percent premium on Friday's closing price, in an all-cash deal. ARM shares rallied over 46 percent in early trade on Monday.
"This is a company I always admired for the last 10 years," Masayoshi Son, chairman and chief executive of SoftBank, told reporters in London Monday. "This is the company I wanted to make part of Softbank. I am so happy"
On whether the deal will face opposition, the CEO said the deal will close quickly because Softbank "does not operate any competitive business against ARM. This will be very straightforward"