Alphawave picks London for $4.5bn IPO

Canadian chip developer Alphawave is set to float on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) at a valuation of $4.5 billion, beating competition from New York and Toronto.

The company, founded in 2017, designs chip technology that enables data transfer for data centres and phone networks.

Alphawave do not manufacture chips themselves but instead license their designs to other companies in exchange for royalties, a model like fellow Cambridge chip designer ARM.

Alphawave currently have a research centre in Cambridge’s “Silicon Fen”, which has a rich history of tech start-ups that has been compared to Silicon Valley and is where ARM and Darktrace are based.

The company will seek to raise $500 million via the listing and move its headquarters to Cambridge.

Institutional investors BlackRock and Janus Henderson have agreed to buy $510 million of shares at a valuation of up to $4.5 billion.

Barclays and JP Morgan will act as joint co-ordinators and bookmakers alongside BMO Capital Markets.

The news comes as the $40 billion acquisition of Arm by Nvidia is being reviewed on national security and competition grounds.

Technology continues to be an important part of London Stock Exchange (LSE) listings. In 2020, tech and consumer internet firms raised £7 billion in follow-on capital via LSE listings, 40 per cent of all capital raised according a TechNation report.

Cambridge-based cybersecurity company Darktrace recently announced its initial public offering (IPO) at a valuation of around £3 billion.

Tony Pialis, chief executive at Alphawave, said: "We have chosen to come to the UK because of its incredible technology and semiconductor industry ecosystem.”

He added: “The strong research base in the UK - and our new R&D headquarters in Cambridge - offers an excellent foundation for the next stage of our global growth."

“We are a global business and proud to be taking Alphawave IP public in the UK where the Silicon IP business model was invented by great British companies like Arm and Imagination,” said John Lofton Holt Executive chairman at Alphawave.

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