UK's Johnson joins final push to convince Arm to list in London -FT

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British Prime Minister Boris Johnson meets Switzerland's President Ignazio Cassis

(Reuters) - UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has joined a final push to try to convince SoftBank Group Corp-backed chip designer Arm to list in London, the Financial Times reported on Monday, citing people familiar with the matter.

Johnson has written to SoftBank executives as part of the last-ditch effort, the report said, adding ministers and executives from the London Stock Exchange (LSE) are trying to persuade the Japanese conglomerate to rethink their preference for listing in New York.

Arm declined to comment on the matter, while the LSE and SoftBank did not immediately respond to Reuters' requests for comment.

"Following last year’s record number of tech IPOs in London, we continue to work hard to support and encourage all firms to list here. We hope Arm will continue to build its business here, drawing on the UK’s unrivalled mix of skills and capital," a UK government spokesperson told Reuters by email.

Digital minister Chris Philp and Minister for Investment Gerry Grimstone, who lead the lobbying efforts, are expected to meet SoftBank executives in the coming weeks, according to the report.

However, two people familiar with SoftBank's thinking said there was very little possibility of changing plans and listing in London, the FT added.

SoftBank in February shelved the sale of Arm Ltd to U.S. chipmaker Nvidia Corp in a deal valued at up to $80 billion, citing regulatory hurdles, and instead decided to list the company.

(Reporting by Anirudh Saligrama, Maria Ponnezhath, Sneha Bhowmik and Akriti Sharma in Bengaluru Editing by Uttaresh.V and Mark Potter)

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