Arm Co-Founder Blames Brexit For US Nasdaq Listing

Arm officially began the listing process yesterday, for what is expected to be one of the largest IPOs of the year.


“Brexit idiocy” is partly to blame for Arm’s decision to list on the Nasdaq stock exchange in New York, rather than its home market of London, says co-founder Hermann Hauser.

Arm officially began the listing process yesterday, for what is expected to be one of the largest IPOs of the year. Nearly every small electronic device today uses Arm chip designs, from smartphones and wearables to industrial IoT sensors.

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Arm's revenue is one of the few bright spots for owner SoftBank, which posted a $23 billion net loss last year.

Hauser, a longtime vocal opponent of Brexit, told Radio 4's Today program that it made sense for SoftBank to take Arm to New York, where it aims to raise $10 billion and could be valued between $30 billion and $70 billion.

It would have been difficult to raise this amount of money in the UK, Hauser said, adding, "Softbank really needs the money to further support the growth of Arm."

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, his predecessor Boris Johnson, and numerous government and London Stock Exchange representatives had previously held talks with SoftBank about a potential dual listing in both London and New York. However, Hauser was quick to write off the possibility.

“The problem is, to IPO on two stock exchanges at the same time is an enormous amount of work, so the administrative effort is double,” he said.

“The fact is that New York of course is a much deeper market than London, partially because of the Brexit idiocy the image of London has suffered a lot in the international community,” he said.

Hauser sold his stake in Arm in 2016, when SoftBank bought the company. He is now a venture capital investor focusing on UK tech firms. Despite his acknowledgement of the rationale behind SoftBank's decision, he believes Arm could return to London - eventually.

“It would make a lot of sense for Arm to at least have a secondary listing on the London Stock Exchange eventually,” he said. "Arm is a UK company, arguably one of the more globally successful technology companies in the UK, and there is a lot of support in the London City for Arm.”

This article originally appeared on CRN’s sister site, Computing.