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Softbank's Arm Holdings still plans to return to the public markets by 2023: Reuters

CEO Simon Segars says 'a lot of things need to fall into place' before the company can return to the public markets

Slack Technologies Inc - Softbank's Arm Holdings still plans to return to the public markets by 2023: Reuters
Softbank is the largest shareholder in WeWork, which abandoned an IPO last week

Arm Holdings, the semiconductor technology firm owned by Softbank Group Corp, still plans to return to the public markets by 2023, according to Reuters. 

CEO Simon Segars, speaking at a press conference during Arm’s annual user conference in San Jose, California on Tuesday, said “a lot of things need to fall into place” before the company can return to the public markets, the news service reported.  

But the 2023 goal date for a relisting set by Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son remains unchanged.

The Japanese telecommunications carrier acquired the British chip firm for $32 billion in 2016. Last year, Son said it aims to re-list Arm within five years.

The returns on Softbank’s Arm investment have taken on increasing importance as some of the investments made by Softbank’s Vision Fund, such as Slack Technologies Inc (NYSE:WORK) and Uber Technologies (NYSE:UBER), have performed poorly on the public markets.

Softbank Group is in talks with WeWork over a new $1 billion investment to enable the shared office space company to go through a major restructuring, Reuters reported on Monday.

Softbank is the largest shareholder in WeWork, whose parent We Company (PRIVATE-NA:WE) had to abandon an initial public offering last week because of investor concerns about its valuation and business model.

SoftBank has been reluctant to plough more cash into WeWork but now believes that a fresh investment is necessary for any hope of salvaging the investment it has already made, a source told Reuters.

Segars, who is on Softbank’s board of directors, declined to comment on the WeWork situation or other Vision Fund matters.

“I’m not spending my days worrying about what is going on at Vision Fund. My primary focus is on delivering an Arm strategy,” Segars said. “The Vision fund is going to do what it needs to do.”

Arm, the dominant supplier of technology for mobile phone chips, has seen slow revenue growth with the declining smartphone market while new fields such as automotive chips have yet to begin growing quickly.

Segars said Arm has purposely taken steps like boosting headcount, which has increased costs, to pursue opportunities that will pay off years later, rather than in the next quarter, Reuters reported. 

Contact the author: patrick@proactiveinvestors.com

Follow him on Twitter @PatrickMGraham

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