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The Story Behind SoftBank's Acquisition Of ARM Holdings: From A Turkish Resort Town To Secret Meetings In London

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The Story Behind SoftBank's Acquisition Of ARM Holdings: From A Turkish Resort Town To Secret Meetings In London

SoftBank Group Corp (OTC: SFTBF) (OTC: SFTBY)'s acquisition of ARM Holdings plc (ADR) (NASDAQ: ARMH) represents both the largest deal ever conducted by the Japan-based company and the first major M&A deal involving a British company post-Brexit.

So how did it all come together?

A Turkish Resort

According to Bloomberg, ARM Chairman Stuart Chambers was vacationing off the coast of Turkey earlier this month and received a visit from Masayoshi Son, SoftBank's billionaire founder and CEO, to discuss an acquisition.

Related Link: Did The Brexit Vote Play A Role In SoftBank's Acquisition Of ARM?

The discussions in Turkey quickly expanded to include ARM CEO Simon Segars, who has known Son for many years through the Silicon Valley circuit.

The initial talks proved to be a success and a second round of discussions were scheduled to secretly take place at Lazard Ltd.'s London office.

Secret London Meeting

While negotiations took place, SoftBank increased its buyout offer at least three times.

Meanwhile, Son was also having discussions with the U.K.'s new Prime Minister, Theresa May, to assure the government that its headquarters and management team will remain in Cambridge. He also promised to double the employee headcount from around 4,000 over the next five years.

The Prime Minister's Office concluded the deal is "very much in the national interest" and received the government's blessings.

"Britain is open for business — and open to foreign investment," Chancellor of the Exchequer (equivalent title to Minister of Treasury or Finance) Philip Hammond was quoted by Bloomberg as saying. "SoftBank's decision confirms that Britain remains one of the most attractive destinations globally for investors to create jobs and wealth."

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