The ongoing saga of SoftBank and its China operations in the wake of the failed sale of Arm to Nvidia has taken a curious twist, according to a report on Yahoo! Finance, with the former CEO of Arm China, fired in 2020, still refusing to leave.
Exactly why Allen Wu likes his job so much remains unclear, but he retains possession of the company’s registration documents and seal, allowing him to run the company in defiance of its directors. Wu was let go in 2020 for alleged conflicts of interest, with Reuters reporting that the board of Arm China, a joint venture between Arm, SoftBank, and Chinese investors, had voted 7-1 to oust him.
According to the Guardian, Wu has hit back with three legal actions against Arm China, all of which will need to be overcome before SoftBank can float Arm on the stock market, its backup plan following the collapse of the sale to Nvidia earlier this year. In the Guardian, SoftBank chief executive Masayoshi Son suggested that the US Nasdaq exchange would be most appropriate, with Bloomberg reporting that the Japan-based multinational holding company would retain a controlling interest in Arm after the IPO.
To get things moving, SoftBank’s board is filing paperwork in China to change the representative of Arm China listed on the Chinese government database and to get a new company seal issued. According to sources, Yahoo! Finance, via Bloomberg, all this is left anonymous, as the process is not yet public. SoftBank and representatives of Wu likewise refused to comment. However, a new seal could be issued within days, removing a major source of uncertainty as the company gears up for its IPO.
The IPO, which is expected before Q1 of 2023, should see Arm, the chip-maker behind smartphones, tablets, and Raspberry Pi boards, valued for at least $60 billion, according to Bloomberg.