The acquisition of British chip design firm ARM by SoftBank will be completed next week after 95 per cent of ARM shareholders who voted did so in favour of the £24.3bn deal.
Barring any sudden and unexpected events, ARM will become a part of SoftBank on 5 September.
The news was met with a mixed response. Richard Holway, chairman of analyst firm TechMarketView, is very much against the acquisition of the UK's largest and most high-profile technology company.
"Whatever 'promises' have been made, [ARM] will now be a subsidiary of a highly indebted foreign company. Although a base might well be maintained in Cambridge, all the corporate decisions will be made abroad," Holway said in a news post.
He explained that the UK will lose out in many ways, from the loss of taxes from a foreign-owned company balancing its underlying profitability against high debts, to the various service companies that benefit from a successful local business.
"Ever since I started my analysis company in 1986 the takeovers have practically all been one way. So I have to say that every quoted (and private) UK tech company is vulnerable," Holway said.
"All the way from Imagination Technologies to Sage to MicroFocus to Aveva, with everyone in between. The devaluation of the pound makes UK companies even more attractive, [and] US tax rules, making it difficult to repatriate overseas profits, also encourages US companies to acquire in the UK."
The fact that the UK is a relatively easy place to get an 'exit' from an investment should also make it an attractive place to start and grow a company, according to Holway.
"Maybe that is our destiny: as an incubator of tech companies and serial entrepreneurs. There are probably worse fates," he said.
Holway is not alone in lamenting the ARM acquisition. Gordon Sanghera, CEO of Oxford Nanopore Technologies, said: "Despite SoftBank's commitment to double the number of UK jobs, history shows us that innovation and manufacturing jobs tend to drift away over the five to 10 years following a foreign acquisition."
He added that the company will lose its autonomy and become less agile and effective as the acquisition will need to pay for itself one way or another.
"Research, development and production in novel technologies are part of a delicate and symbiotic ecosystem that is most effective when people are located near to each other," Sanghera said.
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