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SoftBank Likely To Focus On Chips, Arm To Transfer Software Businesses

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Arm Ltd plans to transfer two software businesses to its Japan-based parent, SoftBank Group Corp, in a strategic shift to focus on growing its core chip businesses, the British-based company said on Tuesday.

The units, under Arm’s internet-of-things services group, help chip purchasers manage data generated by all sorts of devices connected on the internet. Arm, based in Cambridge, England, said in a statement it hopes to complete the transfer by September.

SoftBank, a telecommunications carrier, acquired Arm for $32 billion in 2016, its largest-ever purchase, in part to expand into the “internet of things,” which connects everyday devices from traffic signals to refrigerators to the internet.

Arm has forecast that 1 trillion devices would become connected by 2035, many with chips containing its intellectual property, from which it generates license and royalty fees.

Arm supplies the chip technology for virtually all mobile devices such as phones and tablets but is expanding into processors for cars, datacenter services and other devices. SoftBank plans to relist Arm by 2023.

“Arm would be in a stronger position to innovate in our core (intellectual property) roadmap and provide our partners with greater support to capture the expanding opportunities for compute solutions across a range of markets,” Arm Chief Executive Simon Segars said in statement.

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