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Zahawi set for crunch talks with billionaire Masayoshi Son over bringing Arm back to London

New Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi ready for crunch talks with billionaire Masayoshi Son on bringing Arm back to London

  • The chancellor will meet with the chairman of SoftBank this month as Zahawi looks to resume the charm offensive started by Rishi Sunak and Boris Johnson
  • SoftBank is in the process of listing Arm in the public markets, following its purchase of the British tech giant in 2016, but so far Son is leaning towards a US IPO
  • Sources say Zahawi Son wrote two weeks ago requesting a meeting, following SoftBank’s decision in July to halt plans to investigate a listing of Arm in the UK.

Nadhim Zahawi is ready for crunch talks with billionaire Masayoshi Son about bringing Arm back to London.

The chancellor will meet with the chairman of SoftBank this month as Zahawi looks to resume the charm offensive started by Rishi Sunak and Boris Johnson.

SoftBank is in the process of listing Arm in the public markets after it bought the British tech giant in 2016. But so far Son is leaning towards an American float.

Nadhim Zahawi is ready for crunch talks with billionaire Masayoshi Son, pictured, about bringing Arm back to London

Sources say Zahawi Son wrote in writing two weeks ago requesting a meeting, following SoftBank’s decision in July to halt plans to investigate a list of Poor in the UK amid political turmoil.

Having an Arm List in London is a top priority for Zahawi, who became Chancellor on 5 July, and would be a major boost to the London Stock Exchange.

A source told the Mail: ‘It’s no surprise that this is so high on Zahawi’s agenda. He’s a reckless character who likes to make things happen.’

The hope is that Zahawi will convince billionaire Son to float Arm in London, or at least have a secondary listing in the capital. Analysts estimate Arm would float with a market value of £34 billion, making it the largest technology company in London, more than four times the size of current leader Ocado.

It is clear that Son will make a decision this summer, and has grown increasingly frustrated with the chopping and changing at the heart of the government. Former Investment Secretary Lord Grimstone and ex Technology Minister Chris Philp led talks with SoftBank, but both have resigned.

Sources say Zahawi Son wrote in writing two weeks ago requesting a meeting, following SoftBank's decision in July to halt plans to investigate a list of Poor in the UK amid political turmoil.

Sources say Zahawi Son wrote in writing two weeks ago requesting a meeting, following SoftBank’s decision in July to halt plans to explore a listing of Arm in the UK amid political turmoil.

As a result, SoftBank has suspended talks about a listing in London, and the source said messages from ministers remain unanswered. Andrew Griffith, an ex-Sky chief and now export secretary, is said to be helping with the renewed effort.

The source said: ‘Son wants reassurance from the UK and he wants clarity. He had a particularly good relationship with Gerry Grimstone, who did a good job defending London and convincing Son.’

Zahawi faces an uphill battle when Son announced at the annual meeting in June that the Nasdaq was the destination of choice. Son said he had received “a strong love signal” from London after months of intense lobbying.

Efforts include meeting former Chancellor Mr. Sunak, while Grimstone flew to Tokyo in June to meet with SoftBank executives. The Prime Minister wrote to SoftBank’s executives in May. Arm was listed in London until it was bought by SoftBank in 2016 for £24 billion.

The Japanese conglomerate was prompted to float it again after US chip giant Nvidia dropped a £32 billion takeover bid this year. Arm was founded in 1990 and is based in Cambridge. It designs the processors that power virtually every smartphone in the world, and its customers include Apple, Qualcomm, and Samsung Electronics. It employs 6,400 people worldwide, 3,500 of whom are in the UK.

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