Arm shares surge 25% in biggest IPO of the year

Arm Nasdaq Image credit: Shutterstock

Shares in British semiconductor designer Arm surged almost 25% on its first day of trading, following its long-awaited IPO on the Nasdaq.

The Cambridge-headquartered company’s share price was initially set at $51, but Arm stock opened at $56 and then jumped to $63.59 before markets closed in New York.

Arm designs essential components of computer chips that are deployed across a variety of electronic devices, from smartphones to gaming consoles.

Arm’s designs are some of the most widely used in the industry, counting major semiconductor players such as Intel and Nvidia as customers.

“Together, we have built the world’s largest compute and software ecosystem based on the most pervasive CPU architecture in history,” said Arm CEO Rene Haas today.

“More than 250 billion Arm-based chips have shipped to date, making Arm CPUs the brains of everything. This shared success stems from the Arm DNA, born of designing high-performance, yet power-efficient processors for products that run off batteries.”

Arm’s strong IPO performance may pave the way for more big public listings on both sides of the Atlantic following a slowdown in capital markets this year.

Ahead of the public launch, many of Arm’s high-profile customers announced their intention to invest, including Alphabet, Apple, Amazon, Intel, Samsung and Nvidia, which last year was blocked from wholly acquiring the semiconductor designer due to a joint competition inquiry.

It was announced in March that Arm would be listed in New York, in a major blow to the London Stock Exchange, where the company had been listed from 1998 to 2016 before being acquired and delisted by SoftBank.

While there were several attempts from British politicians to try and keep the IPO on home soil, the company decided the US was a better option thanks to the larger access to wealthy investors with lighter regulatory scrutiny than London.

“Nasdaq is the home of the semiconductor industry. Nearly all of our semiconductor peers are listed here,” said Ian Thornton, Arm’s VP of investor relations.

Karen Snow, Nasdaq’s global head of listings added: “As a company that is constantly questioning how to forge a better tomorrow, Arm aligns perfectly with our mission, and we could not be more excited to see what Arm has on the horizon.”

Read more: Arm: Everything you need to know about the blockbuster IPO