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July 18, 2016updated 02 Mar 2017 11:38am

What is SoftBank?

Get to grips with the company that just paid £24 billion for UK chipmaker ARM.

By Alexander Sword

SoftBank is a Japanese telecoms and Internet company.

Founded in 1981 and headquartered in Tokyo, SoftBank has international operations across broadband, fixed telecoms, e-commerce, finance, media and marketing.

Included in its portfolio of companies are SoftBank BB, IDC Frontier, GungHo Online Entertainment and SB Creative. It also works with foreign companies such as Yahoo!.

Who did SoftBank acquire in 2016 and why?

In July 2016 SoftBank announced that it was acquiring UK-based chipmaker ARM for £24 billion as part of a deeper push into the Internet of Things market. The deal is one of the largest acquisitions of a UK company.

For the full year 2015, SoftBank reported revenue of ¥9.15 trillion, operating income of ¥999.5 billion and net income of ¥474.1 billion. Its total assets and equity were ¥20.7 trillion and ¥2.6 trillion respectively.

It employs almost 70,000 people worldwide.

The company commenced operations as a distributor of packaged software before moving into the publishing business in 1982. Throughout the 1990s it expanded into a range of new sectors including financial services.

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