SoftBank says it's considering selling or listing UK chip designer Arm

Key Points
  • CEO Masayoshi Son confirmed in a press conference that SoftBank is considering selling U.K. chip designer Arm or taking the company public ahead of schedule. 
  • Last month, CNBC reported that SoftBank has hired Goldman Sachs to explore both options. 
  • SoftBank paid around $32 billion for the Cambridge firm in 2016. 

In this article

Masayoshi Son, chairman and chief executive officer of SoftBank Group Corp., gestures whilst speaking during a news conference in London, on Monday, July 18, 2016.
Chris Ratcliffe | Bloomberg | Getty Images

SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son confirmed Tuesday that his company is considering selling or listing the U.K. chip designer Arm Holdings ahead of schedule. 

The tech billionaire said in a press conference that SoftBank could either take Arm public ahead of the scheduled date of 2023, or sell the company onto another party. 

"We would like to closely study the best option," said Son during a SoftBank earnings briefing for its fiscal first quarter. 

The Japanese tech giant acquired Arm for around $32 billion in 2016. SoftBank Group owns 75% of the business while the SoftBank Vision Fund owns the remaining 25%. 

"It was originally a listed company and a re-listing is not that difficult actually" said Son, adding that Arm would need to make a "good performance" and collect the initial cost if it were to go down this route.

Son added that there is also the option of selling a part, or some, or all of the company. He said the deal could be a mixture of cash and stock.

Son confirmed that there has been some interest in the company but he refused to name which firms SoftBank has been talking to about a possible sale. Nvidia is one of the interested parties, according to people familiar with the matter. 

Last month, CNBC reported that SoftBank has hired Goldman Sachs to explore both an initial public offering and a sale of Arm. 

SoftBank posted a $12 billion quarterly profit Tuesday after valuations in SoftBank Vision Fund portfolio companies like Slack and Uber increased significantly.