Sprint Owner Softbank To Buy ARM for IoT in Big Post-Brexit Deal

Japanese technology company SoftBank Group Corp. is buying Britain's ARM Holdings for 24.3 billion pounds ($32 billion), in a deal the British government hailed as a vote of confidence in the country following last month's vote to leave the European Union.

The recommended cash deal underlines the desire of SoftBank, which also owns struggling U.S. telecommunications company Sprint, to expand in the so-called "Internet of Things" -- how home devices from smart-thermostats to security cameras and domestic appliances can connect online and work in sync.

ARM is renowned as an innovator in the "Internet of Things" -- its technology is used in the vast majority of smartphones, for example.

"ARM will be an excellent strategic fit within the SoftBank group as we invest to capture the very significant opportunities provided by the 'Internet of Things'," said Masayoshi Son, Chairman and CEO of Softbank [pictured above].

ARM centers its business on intellectual property, especially in mobile computing, rather than chip manufacturing, for which it relies on partners. Its technology is used in 95 percent of smartphones and 80 percent of digital cameras, according to the company. Augmented-reality headsets, biometric sensors, self-driving cars, commercial drones and smart watches all use ARM technology.

Hermann Hauser, who helped found the company in 1990, expressed his disappointment at the deal, bemoaning that the company's future would be determined in Japan.

"ARM has been the proudest achievement in my life, so it's a very sad day for me personally and for technology in Britain," Hauser, who is now a partner at Amadeus Capital, told ITV News.

SoftBank has sought to assuage concerns about the impact on jobs in Britain, promising to "at least double" the number of employees employed by ARM in the U.K. over the next five years. Cambridge-based ARM employs a little more than 4,000 people worldwide. Around 1,600 are in...

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