Ministers could have kept chip maker Arm in the UK, City lawyer claims

Ministers could have kept chip maker Arm in the UK on security grounds, leading City lawyer claims

A leading City lawyer has claimed SoftBank’s takeover of Arm could have been blocked had the Government introduced the National Security and Investment Act earlier.

At a business, energy and industrial strategy committee meeting yesterday, Linklaters head of antitrust and foreign investment Nicole Kar said the tech firm could have remained in Britain.

It was six years ago that then-Chancellor Philip Hammond waved through SoftBank’s £24billion acquisition of Arm, claiming the deal was ‘a big vote of confidence’ in British business.

At a business, energy and industrial strategy committee meeting, Linklaters head of antitrust and foreign investment Nicole Kar said the tech firm Arm could have remained in Britain

However, questions have emerged over the decision to allow the UK tech firm to fall into foreign hands.

Most recently, there have been growing calls for the Cambridge-based chip designer to return to the London Stock Exchange after Arm’s £30billion sale to US firm Nvidia fell through.

When asked by MPs whether the Act could have overturned previous deals, Kar said yesterday: ‘There are transactions that would have been captured by it and may have had a different outcome.

‘There’s a question over whether Arm would have been waved through as a sale to a foreign buyer. Many people saw Arm as a crown jewel of UK technology.’ The Act came into force earlier this year.

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