SoftBank to buy iPhone chip maker ARM

London: Japanese major, SoftBank agreed to buy ARM for £24.3 billion, securing a slice of virtually every mobile computing gadget on the planet and future connected devices in the home. The Japanese company is offering 1,700p in cash per share or a 43 per cent premium. The deal would be the biggest ever for SoftBank, which under Chairman Masayoshi Son became one of Japan’s most acquisitive companies with stakes in wireless carrier Sprint Corp. and Alibaba Group.

The deal is the biggest takeover of a British company since the country last month decided to leave the European Union and comes after the pound fell against the Japanese yen. SoftBank will gain control of a cash-generating mobile industry leader who gets royalties every time clients such as Apple Inc., Samsung Electronics Co. or Qualcomm Inc. adopt its designs, which are considered power-saving and efficient.

SoftBank pledged to keep ARM’s headquarters in Cambridge and its senior management team, and to at least double employee headcount in the UK in the next five years.