Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng are preparing a fresh attempt to persuade Japan’s SoftBank to list Cambridge-based chip designer Arm in the UK.
The prime minister and chancellor are hoping to revive talks with SoftBank, which reportedly halted plans to explore a London listing after the political upheaval as Boris Johnson resigned.
SoftBank has made no secret of its preference to list in the US, where valuations make New York the financial centre of choice for most of the world’s largest tech flotations.
In February, Masayoshi Son, the chief executive of SoftBank, snubbed the UK, naming the Nasdaq when detailing plans to turn to the backup plan of a flotation of Arm after the collapse of a $40bn (£34bn) takeover deal by its California-based rival Nvidia.
However, the UK government and senior executives from the London Stock Exchange have continued to lobby SoftBank, which in June indicated the capital could still be in the running but was not the “main preference”.
While the lobbying effort had been focused on Arm having its primary listing in the UK – where it would be the biggest tech company – Arm had been a member of the FTSE 100 for 18 years before being bought by SoftBank for £24bn in 2016 with a dual listing on both sides of the Atlantic.
The government is expected to press for a reopening of talks to push for at least a dual listing in the UK after the end of the mourning period and the funeral of the Queen next week, according to the Financial Times.
The lobbying effort had been led by Gerry Grimstone, the former investment minister. However, he left the government after Johnson’s resignation.
Chris Philp, the former digital minister who was also part of the charm offensive, is now working alongside Kwarteng as the chief secretary to the Treasury.
SoftBank needs to make a final decision on its flotation plans before Christmas if the company wants to stick to a plan to float Arm potentially as soon as the first quarter next year.