There’s no sign of Morgan Stanley in Arm Ltd.’s filing for its initial public offering, a rare event for a bank that’s often a lead adviser on landmark technology IPOs.
(Bloomberg) — There’s no sign of Morgan Stanley in Arm Ltd.’s filing for its initial public offering, a rare event for a bank that’s often a lead adviser on landmark technology IPOs.
Chip designer Arm on Monday filed for what’s set to be the biggest IPO of the year and potentially one of the largest tech listings ever on a US exchange.
While Arm had been looking to raise $8 billion to $10 billion, that target might be lowered because of SoftBank Group Corp.’s acquisition of a 25% stake in the company from Vision Fund.
Arm lined up a roster of 28 banks that include some of Wall Street’s biggest: Barclays Plc, Goldman Sachs Group Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Mizuho Financial Group Inc. are in top roles, while Bank of America Corp. and Citigroup Inc. snagged more minor positions. Arm, taking a page from Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s landmark listing almost a decade ago, is splitting underwriter fees evenly among the four banks leading its IPO.
Last year, SoftBank asked banks jostling for roles on its IPO to underwrite a margin loan of about $8 billion. Many of the banks involved on the IPO took part in that financing, but Morgan Stanley didn’t.
Representatives for Morgan Stanley and Arm declined to comment.
It’s not unheard of for Morgan Stanley to forgo IPO roles if the deal won’t pay off. In 2019, the New York-based bank stepped back from a lesser role on WeWork’s failed IPO after the startup rejected its bid to be the top underwriter.
It did pitch Arm on working on the listing, but other banks had longer and deeper relationships with SoftBank and Arm, according to people familiar with the matter. Morgan Stanley was an adviser to chipmaker Nvidia Corp. on a bid to acquire Arm that failed in early 2022 in the face of regulatory opposition. The collapse of the Nvidia deal ultimately paved the way for Arm’s IPO.
Michael Grimes, New York-based Morgan Stanley’s top technology banker, is known for going to great lengths to win tech IPO mandates for the firm. He famously moonlighted as an Uber driver to help land that listing.
–With assistance from Sridhar Natarajan.
(Adds detail on Nvidia mandate in penultimate paragraph.)
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