The government must prevent the £31 billion sale of UK software and semiconductor giant Arm to US multinational Nvidia in order to protect the UK’s tech sector, Unite said today (September 15).
The sale of Arm, the country’s largest tech company, by its Japanese owner SoftBank to Nvidia risks the company’s UK operations being run down and jobs and investment moved abroad, Unite warned.
The union added that the government should be ‘protecting tech firms from being hollowed out by detrimental takeovers and providing the investment needed for the sector as a whole to flourish’.
The union, which has a number of members at the firm’s Cambridge headquarters, said that during an Arm internal meeting yesterday, staff were ‘kept in the dark’ about the sale and ‘fobbed off’ with protestations that nothing will happen for at least 18 months.
Their worries have been echoed by the firm’s co-founder Hermann Hauser, who has warned that it is in ‘Nvidia’s interest to kill Arm’.
Cambridge MP Daniel Zeichner, who has also expressed alarm about the deal, will be meeting online with Unite members at Arm this week so he can reflect their concerns in parliament.
Unite regional officer Matt Whaley said, “This deal is not in the UK’s national interest and could very well see Arm’s UK operations run down, with jobs and investment being shifted overseas.
“Arm Holdings is a global leader and major asset to the UK economy,” he added. “It would be madness to put this at risk by allowing Arm to be flogged to a multinational that would benefit from it being dismantled.
“Our members have valid worries about the Nvidia deal, which have not been helped by their being kept in the dark by Arm’s leadership and fobbed off with excuses about the sale being 18 months away.
“Cambridge Daniel Zeichner MP will this week be attending an online meeting with our members so he can pass their concerns on to the government, which must take action to prevent this sale going ahead,” Whaley went on to say.
“If ministers truly want the UK to lead in science and technology, they should be protecting tech firms from being hollowed out by detrimental takeovers and providing the investment needed for the sector as a whole to flourish.”
By Ryan Fletcher