Plan B: After the failed Nvidia sale, Arm goes public for $54.5B

 ARM logo exhibited at ARM stand during the Mobile World Congress (MWC).
ARM logo exhibited at ARM stand during the Mobile World Congress (MWC).

Chip designer Arm Holdings is going public for the second time in almost thirty years, this time with a market value of $54.5 billion. The company listed 95.5 million shares under "ARM" on Nasdaq, the largest IPO since the electric truck maker Rivian went public in 2021 for over $66 billion.

The current share price is $51, giving Arm a market capitalization of roughly $54.5 billion. There was early speculation that the IPO value would be as high as $70 billion as big tech companies like Amazon, Nvidia, and Intel planned to spend billions of dollars on the chip designer once it went public.

"Together, we have built the world's largest compute and software ecosystem based on the most pervasive CPU architecture in history," wrote Rene Haas, CEO of Arm, on the company blog announcing the news. Haas also thanked employees for sticking by through "a long road with lots of twists and turns we never anticipated nor expected."

Even though $54 billion is a comedown from $70 billion, it's still more than the $40 billion offered by Nvidia in its failed acquisition of Arm, and Softbank still retains a nearly 90% stake in Arm.

Arm Holdings was acquired by Softbank back in 2016 for $32 billion. Before that, Arm was a public company starting in 1998. You can find Arm chips in almost every smartphone, tablet, and MacBook out there.

The CEO says Arm is in a "stronger position to strengthen our already talented engineering team and invest in more AI opportunities" as the company expands its reach into what it calls "the AI era."