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Arm hires 2,000 staff since £24bn SoftBank sale

Matthew Field
An ARM Holdings Plc Cortex-A15 MPCore processor - Bloomberg News

Arm Holdings has hired 1,000 staff in the past year following its £24bn sale to Softbank, as the Japanese giant continues to boost investment in the microchip company.

A report from Softbank for the Takeover Panel suggested the conglomorate has held to its legal pledge to invest in the UK company adding 2,000 new employees over two years. Softbank reported total UK staff numbers had increased to 2,534, up from 2,173. Of these, 77pc were technical employees.

Arm also added substantially to its overseas staff, increasing numbers to 3,540 from 2,845. Last year, the company also increased headcount by 1,000 people, meaning the company now has more than 6,000 employees.

Until 2016, Cambridge-headquartered Arm was one of the UK's most valuable listed technology companies. Its microprocessor designs featured in billions of smartphones and internet of things devices. It was acquired by Japan's Softbank Group for £24bn.

The deal was seen by some as a sale of the UK tech industry's crown jewels, and Softbank was forced to make legally binding pledges to continue to invest in the company and increase headcount. Softbank is required to double overall headcount at Arm in the next five years.

However, earlier this year, Softbank confirmed it was launching a joint venture with Chinese investors to create a new, separate business - Arm China. The deal gives Arm China access to the company's valuable intellectual property.

The new business controls about 20pc of Arm's revenue, but the deal was valued at just $1.5bn. The deal gives China a chance to boost its microprocessor industry at a time when US tariffs and a trade war threaten its burgeoning tech sector.

The Arm China deal also transferred around 300 staff to the new joint venture. The China staff numbers are in addition to those in the Takeover Panel report, a spokesman confirmed.