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HomeCloud ComputingARM’s IPO Filing Puts Focus on China and Chips

ARM’s IPO Filing Puts Focus on China and Chips


Softbank’s Arm is gearing up for a blockbuster stock market listing next month. Ahead of the list, the company submitted a long filing detailing its business model, financial performance and business outlook to potential investors.

A key takeaway from the 300-page-plus prospectus is the focus on China. The company references “China” 222 times in the document.

In the last fiscal year ending March 2023, Arm posted revenue of $2.7 billion, with China operations accounting for 25% of its total income. Importantly, its earnings in the Asian country predominantly comes from its relationship with Arm China.

“We depend on our commercial relationship with Arm China to access the PRC market,” the UK chip designer wrote in its prospectus. “If that commercial relationship no longer exists or deteriorates, our ability to compete in the PRC market could be materially and adversely affected,” the company said.

Arm China is owned by a group of companies including Softbank which indirectly holds a significant minority in the company through Acetone Limited.

China is subject to significant US and European sanctions restricting technology access and innovation. The US has cited Chinese government-backed corporate espionage and technology competition as the motive for the sanctions.

“Our concentration of revenue from the [People’s Republic of China] market makes us particularly susceptible to economic and political risks affecting the [People’s Republic of China],” Arm stated.

“It would be difficult for us to replace any lost PRC-sourced revenue in the event that our commercial relationship with Arm China were to terminate or deteriorate,” Arm said in the filing.

Arm’s IPO is perhaps the most anticipated stock market listing this year after a failed Nvidia acquisition forced Softbank to consider taking the company public. Softbank acquired Arm in 2016 for $32 billion and recently bought back a 25% stake from its Vision Fund venture firm for $16.1 billion in a deal that values Arm at $64.4 billion.

With the IPO, Arm is looking to raise between $8 billion and $10 billion at a market cap of over $60 billion.

Arm has positioned itself as a valuable company in the computing industry. Describing itself as “the foundation of the semiconductor industry,” its technology powers everything from home appliances to chips on mobile devices, a $30 billion industry.

In recent years, Arm has doubled down on cloud computing providers, developing chip designs for companies like Amazon, Nvidia, Alphabet, Samsung and Qualcomm. In total, Arm client list includes over 260 companies which collectively shipped $30.6 billion worth of Arm-based chips.

Arm expects the size of the chip design market to expand to $246.6 billion by the end of 2025 with its market share rising above 50%.

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