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Arm's IPO filing fuels speculation of SoftBank going private

Listed chip designer could replace Alibaba as a fundraising avenue

SoftBank Group Chairman and CEO Masayoshi Son has expressed confidence in Arm's growth prospects.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Chip design house Arm's application for an initial public offering in the U.S. has rekindled speculation about a long-rumored management buyout of parent SoftBank Group, as the move would vastly expand the Japanese technology group's fundraising power.

The U.K.-based firm, which holds a commanding share of the global chip design market, announced the filing with regulators on Saturday. A successful listing would make the company a major fundraising avenue for SoftBank to replace its dwindling stake in Alibaba Group Holding.

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