SoftBank snaps up ARM in £24 billion deal

Japanese telecoms provider SoftBank has agreed to purchase chip design and IP firm ARM Holdings for £24 billion ($31.8 billion) in cash, or £17 ($22.52) per share. That value represents a 43% premium on ARM's last closing share price. The deal will be subject to approval by ARM's shareholders and UK regulators. ARM's board of directors has "unanimously confirmed" that it will advise shareholders to approve the buyout.

SoftBank says "ARM will be an excellent strategic fit within the SoftBank group as we invest to capture the very significant opportunities provided by the 'Internet of Things.'" SoftBank intends to "at least double" the number of employees (about 1,600, according to ARM's announcement video) at ARM's Cambridge headquarters, and it'll also push to increase the number of ARM employees globally. ARM's management and business model will remain unchanged.

ARM provides CPU, GPU, and other microprocessor IP used in a vast swath of mobile and embedded SoCs, as well as server chips. The company had recently announced its next-generation Cortex-A73 CPU core and Mali-T880 GPU at Computex.

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