Alphawave to Raise $500 million in Rare London Semiconductor IPO


Alphawave IP said it’s weighing a London Stock Exchange listing that could value the Canadian firm at as much as $4.5 billion, in a rare U.K. listing for a semiconductor technology company.

If successful, the listing will boost London’s ambitions as a hub for tech initial public offerings. ARM Group, previously the U.K.’s flagship public semiconductor company, delisted in 2016 after a takeover from SoftBank Group Corp. Imagination Technologies and Dialog Semiconductor Plc have also been taken over by foreign investors in recent years.

The previous semiconductor IPO in London was Kromek Group Plc in 2013.

Alphawave has attracted BlackRock Inc. and Janus Henderson as cornerstone investors, who have agreed to subscribe to as much as $510 million in shares, the company said in a statement on Thursday.

Founded in Toronto, Canada in 2017, Alphawave makes technology to improve semiconductor power efficiency and speed. The funds will let the company expand in Europe, the U.K. and Asia, invest in marketing and recruit talent, it said.

The company reported $32.8 million in sales last year and operating profit was $17.5 million. Bookings in the first quarter were $82.2 million.

The U.K. has been attempting to convince tech companies to choose London as a venue rather than looking to the U.S. British cybersecurity company Darktrace Plc recently announced plans for an IPO in London, marking the first major company to plan a listing on the exchange after Deliveroo Holdings Plc flopped in its market debut.

The location of the IPO “was quite an animated discussion between the founders,” John Holt, chairman at Alphawave said. “Silicon IP was born in the U.K. Great companies like Arm and Imagination, were founded, funded, scaled and listed here.”

Barclays Plc and JPMorgan Chase & Co. are joint global co-ordinators and joint bookrunners for Alphawave, while BMO Capital Markets is joint bookrunner

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