Japanese technology company SoftBank confirmed on July 18 that it had agreed to buy UK-based ARM Holdings in a deal worth £24.3 billion, marking the largest-ever Asian investment into the UK. The takeover bid comes just weeks after markets were rattled following the UK decision to leave the European Union.
Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond said on Twitter that the deal was a “big vote of confidence in British business” while analysts have said that an increase in inbound M&A is one of the consequences of Brexit as foreign firms look to cash in on the weakened sterling.
Since the value of the pound dropped post-Brexit decision, a string of takeovers have signaled a renewed interest from foreign buyers in British businesses, including AMC Entertainment Holdings bid for Odeon cinemas and South African retail group Steinhoff’s offer for UK retailer Poundland.
However, even though this is by far the largest inbound M&A deal post-Brexit, the chief executive of SoftBank Masayoshi Son said at a press conference on July 18 that the agreement was not affected by the UK’s decision to leave the EU, with the drop in sterling offset by ARM’s shares rising sharply.
Nevertheless the deal will be a welcome relief to advisers on the deal – some of the City‘s best-known names in M&A on the ticket – given that the M&A market has this year been slow.
These are the City bankers behind the deal:
Anthony Gutman, Goldman’s co-head of UK investment banking
Goldman Sachs is lead financial adviser to ARM, with Gutman – who was among the Goldman bankers recently questioned by MPs over the advice they gave retail billionaire Philip Green before he sold BHS last year for £1 – named as one of its key advisers on the deal, alongside London-based managing directors Nick Harper and Nicholas van den Arend.
William Rucker, Lazard‘s London chief executive
Lazard, which is also lead financial adviser to the Cambridge-based firm, has its UK chief executive advising on the deal alongside the boutique’s head of UK TMT Cyrus Kapadia. Rucker was also named as an adviser on AB InBev’s near-$ 120 billion tilt for Coors maker SABMiller, announced October 2015.
Simon Robey and Simon Warshaw, Robey Warshaw
The M&A boutique is acting for SoftBank on the deal, with Robey and Warshaw on the ticket alongside chief operating officer Philip Apostolides. This is the latest in a number of wins for the boutique, which is advising on the planned merger between the London Stock Exchange Group and Deutsche Börse.
Jonathan Rowley, UBS‘s chairman M&A Emea
UBS, which is financial adviser and joint corporate broker for ARM, has Rowley leading their team on the deal.
Barclays, which is a joint corporate broker to ARM, has Phil Shelley as its main contact on this deal. Shelley was Goldman Sachs’ co-head of UK corporate broking until June 2015.
Update: this story has been updated to reflect Masayoshi Son’s comment on the Brexit vote.