Sources say government turmoil could prevent Arma from returning to London

Sources told the Daily Mail that unrest at the top of the government could derail Arm’s return to London.

Lord Gerry Grimstone, Britain’s investment minister, who did all the heavy lifting and coordinated the government’s efforts, resigned on Friday.

It was hoped that the UK would be able to encourage Arm owner SoftBank to list the chipmaker in London through a primary or secondary listing.

‘Strong love’: It was hoped that the UK could encourage Arm owner SoftBank to list the chipmaker in London through a primary or secondary listing

Last month, SoftBank Chief Executive Masaeshi Son told shareholders at the company’s annual general meeting that Nasdaq was the favorite, but he refused to rule out London entirely.

Son said he received a “strong love call” from London after months of intense lobbying from leading politicians and businessmen. Those efforts included meetings with former chancellor Rishi Sunak earlier this year, and in June Grimstone flew to Tokyo to meet SoftBank executives, including Son.

Boris Johnson himself was also a key player, writing a letter to SoftBank executives in May. It is understood Son will make a decision on where to place Arm this summer.

A source close to the government said: “This is clearly a blow to the effort to bring Armagh back home. Gerry led the negotiations and did a lot of the hard work on behalf of the government.

“He flew everywhere and was very commercial.” It is now believed that the chances of Arm being returned are slim. Russ Shaw, founder of Tech London Advocates, said: “The timing simply couldn’t be worse. We are at a critical point. To remember all the good work that has already been done.”

Arm has been a member of the FTSE 100 for 18 years and bringing it back would be a big boost to the capital’s long-term ambitions for more tech companies.

Analysts estimate that Arm’s market value would be £34bn, making it the biggest technology company listed on the London Stock Exchange, more than double the size of current leader Ocado. Arm was founded in 1990 and is based in Cambridge. It designs the processors that power virtually every smartphone on the planet, and its customers include Apple, Qualcomm and Samsung Electronics.

It employs 6,400 people worldwide, 3,500 of them in the UK.

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