SoftBank Group Corp.’s subsidiary, Arm Holdings Ltd., has taken a momentous step towards executing
what could become the most substantial initial public offering (IPO) in the United States of 2023. This
strategic move represents a bold wager on the viability of Arm’s phone chip design business in the
context of the burgeoning artificial intelligence (AI) computing era. The eagerly awaited regulatory filing
on Monday, 21st August, revealed that Arm’s IPO is under the guidance of major financial players,
including Barclays Plc, Goldman Sachs Group Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co., and Mizuho Financial Group
Inc., with several additional underwriters listed beneath this premier cohort. Notably absent from the
top tier is Morgan Stanley. A successful IPO for Arm would yield substantial gains for SoftBank’s visionary
founder, Masayoshi Son, who seeks to rebound from the significant losses incurred by the Vision Fund in
the past year. Additionally, this offering could influence the IPO plans of other startups, either inspiring
them to expedite their own endeavors or potentially prompting delays.
Arm’s anticipated IPO roadshow initiation in early September, followed by pricing the following week,
has highlighted the company’s commitment to harnessing market momentum. While the precise terms
of the share sale remain undisclosed, industry experts predict that Arm may target a valuation range of
$60 billion to $70 billion. Despite initial ambitions to raise $8 billion to $10 billion, potential adjustments
in these figures may arise due to SoftBank’s decision to retain a larger stake after acquiring Vision Fund’s
position, a transaction that previously valued Arm at more than $64 billion. Notably, Arm’s imminent
listing holds the promise of revitalizing the IPO market with the most substantial surge observed in
nearly two years, potentially marking a significant turning point in market dynamics.
Rene Haas, Arm’s Chief Executive Officer, is poised to navigate the company’s strategic expansion beyond
the smartphone domain, setting sights on advanced computing, particularly chips dedicated to data
centers and AI applications. Retaining its prominent role in shaping chip innovation, Arm’s collaboration
with major industry players like Amazon, Alphabet, Qualcomm, and others showcases the company’s
pivotal position in enabling cutting-edge technologies.