ARM takeover could see start-ups bloom

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The £24 billion takeover of ARM Holdings could trigger a surge of start-up companies, according to a leading academic based in the chip designer’s home city of Cambridge.

“A lot of people from ARM will have a lot of money in their pockets,” said Cambridge Enterprise chief executive Tony Raven. “I think we may well see them invest in projects they have always wanted to. So we could well see a lot of new start-ups.”

Raven, who has founded three successful companies and sold one of them to Nestlé for $893 million (£681 million), said former ARM employees who wanted to do their own thing would find plenty of support in Cambridge.

“There’s a whole community here who would help them. Maybe a thousand flowers could bloom,” he added.

ARM’s takeover by Japan’s SoftBank has prompted calls for greater protection of UK businesses. Raven said many Cambridge ventures have been taken over by foreign companies, and ARM was never going to find a white knight in this country. 

“One of the positive things about this is that the image of the UK as a great inventor but lousy at doing things with its inventions is gone,” he added.

“We have become very good, particularly with universities, at exploiting and developing research to commercial levels. 

“What we haven’t got yet is the later-stage finance right so that we can create the technology giants. We need to find a way of doing that without becoming protectionist.”

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July 26, 2016 |
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