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Chip giant Arm files for hotly anticipated Nasdaq IPO after London snub

Chip giant Arm filed for the biggest IPO of 2023 in the US early this morning, after its high-profile snubbing of London (PA)
Chip giant Arm filed for the biggest IPO of 2023 in the US early this morning, after its high-profile snubbing of London (PA)

Chip giant Arm filed for the biggest IPO of 2023 in the US early this morning, after its high-profile snubbing of London.

Cambridge-based Arm revealed in March that it would list on the Nasdaq exchange, despite the efforts of Rishi Sunak to attract the chip maker to London, where it listed its shares from 1998 until being taken private by Japan’s Softbank in 2016. Its decision to float in the US sparked questions about whether London listings were still attractive to the tech sector.

It is expected that Softbank aims to raise between $8 billion (£6.3 billion) and $10 billion through the listing, making this the biggest IPO since 2021 and valuing Arm at $60-70 billion. A total of 28 different firms are listed as underwriters.

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In its prospectus, Arm talked up the importance of its chips to the growing AI sector.

It said: “As the world moves increasingly towards AI- and ML-enabled computing, Arm will be central to this transition.

“Arm CPUs already run AI and ML workloads in billions of devices, including smartphones, cameras, digital TVs, cars and cloud data centers. The CPU is vital in all AI systems, whether it is handling the AI workload entirely or in combination with a co-processor, such as a GPU or an NPU.

“In the emerging area of large language models, generative AI and autonomous driving, there will be a heightened emphasis on the low power acceleration of these algorithms. In our latest ISA, CPUs, and GPUs, we have added new functionality and instructions to accelerate future AI and ML algorithms.”

“We are working with leading companies such as Alphabet, Cruise LLC, Mercedes-Benz, Meta and NVIDIA to deploy Arm technology to run AI workloads.

The filing also revealed that in the year to 31 March, Arm’s sales dipped by 1% to $2.68 billion. Profit was down by 5% to $524 million.