Sunak backs Arm’s return to market: We’ll make London attractive for tech, says Chancellor, amid fears chip designer will be listed in New York
Rishi Sunak called on Arm to return to the London stock market in what would be a major boost for the city.
Amid fears that one of the country’s most prestigious tech companies might list its shares in New York, the chancellor backed efforts to bring the chip designer back to the UK.
Ministers and London Stock Exchange executives want to attract more tech companies and have launched a charm offensive to win over SoftBank, the Japanese owner of the tech firm.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak (pictured) has backed efforts to bring prestigious chip designer Arm back to the UK
But a London listing is far from certain after SoftBank chief executive Masayoshi Son said in February that Nasdaq in New York was “the most suitable option” because it was “at the center of the high world technology”.
Such a move would be a blow to Britain and to Sunak, who last year called on his Tory counterpart Lord Hill to review registration rules in a bid to make London more attractive.
Speaking to the Daily Mail, the Chancellor said: ‘Of course I want to see Arm listed in the UK.
That’s why I asked Jonathan Hill to reform our registration rules, to make London a more attractive place.
“The government is committed to seeing companies like Arm listed in London.”
The problem was highlighted by Mail’s Back British Tech campaign. Sunak insisted the environment was changing and London was losing its image as the home of old-fashioned, low-growth legacy businesses.
Last year, Deliveroo, Wise and Darktrace all chose London over rival exchanges in New York and Europe for their so-called IPOs.
Sunak said: “Because of the reforms we have put in place, it has been one of the biggest years in over a decade for UK IPOs.” We are a pre-eminent place in Europe for this.
Arm’s shares were traded in London and New York before being bought by SoftBank for £24 billion in 2016.
The conglomerate wants to put it back on the stock exchange after seeing its plan to sell it to US giant Nvidia collapse following scrutiny from competition regulators around the world.
New York is still the preferred destination for the chip designer and even as UK efforts intensify, it is recognized that the odds of fighting the IPO away from New York are slim.
Russ Shaw, founder of Tech London Advocates, said: “It’s still up for grabs, but New York seem to be favourites.”