The UK government reportedly debated using a new national security law to encourage SoftBank Group to list chip design company Arm in London as opposed to exclusively in the US.

Citing unidentified sources, Financial Times (FT) reported the government considered applying the National Security and Investment Act (NSIA), although it has not yet formally done so.

The law passed in 2021 and allows authorities to intervene on business transactions deemed to pose a risk to national security.

SoftBank is in the process of arranging an IPO for Arm after a deal to sell the chip design business to Nvidia collapsed in the face of regulatory pressure earlier this year.

Sources told FT intense lobbying by UK ministers and officials in recent weeks led SoftBank to reopen the door to a listing in the country to complement a principal move in the US.

For now, the newspaper suggests the UK government favours persuasion over coercion.

Notably, Qualcomm CEO Cristiano Amon recently reiterated a desire for the company to buy a stake in Arm, either as part of an IPO or as an outright purchase by a consortium of industry players.

In May, UK Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng opened a national security assessment under the NSIA on Altice’s purchase of a 6 per cent stake in BT Group in 2021.