Arm Holdings, the UK-based chip designer whose products are used in 99% of mobile phones around the world, has announced a $54.4bn valuation as it makes its long-awaited return to the stock market. 

The company’s shares, which are majority-owned by Japan’s SoftBank Group, are set to start trading on Thursday in New York in what is said to be this year’s biggest IPO. 

Arm’s return to market comes as the UK continues to fall behind the China and US in venture capital raised in the semiconductor market.

According to research company GlobalData's deal database, the UK has raised $156m in venture capital for semiconductors so far this year, key components of AI systems.

China has raised the most globally up to 14 September 2023, with venture capital raised in semiconductor deals totalling $5.8bn.

Arm employs around 2,800 staff and offers its chips to a wide array of industry heavyweights, including Apple, Google, AMD, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, Intel and Samsung. 

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The company has been hit financially due to the recent slump in smartphone sales as it depends on royalties. 

The UK-based company is now looking to venture into the AI and the cloud computing market.

Earlier this year, Arm signed a deal with Intel Foundry Services to manufacture chips for use cases such as automotive, the Internet of Things, data centres, aerospace and mobile phones.

According to CNBC, Arm’s valuation for a chip company is exceptionally high compared to other players in the market, except for NVIDIA