Just in case it escaped your attention: yesterday, BBC News and other media announced a brilliant sale. The UK technology firm ARM has been bought by Japanese owned SoftBank.Theresa May’s new government crowed about the sale of a century, a brilliant deal. The UK media and even the BBC reacted less impressed.
The BBC actually wondered if the “investment” had anything to do with the awful fall of the UK pound just after the Brexit. After all, the whole sell-off was managed within 2 weeks. Negotiations apparently started straight after the Brexit referendum result.
What is sold to the general public as an investment in a British tech firm, certainly raises an eyebrow. Isn’t this happening rather fast?
Moreover, what the government especially crows about is the promise of the new owner to create jobs. One admits, that the creation of 1500 jobs seems impressive. But if the BBC got it right, it is a promise of 1500 jobs over a period of 5 years.
A kid can do the calculation here. The promise or “investment” boils down to about 300 jobs being created per year. Worse: these are not going to be ordinary jobs. These will mostly be high-skilled, specialist jobs.
Worse: this promise to create jobs is of course a promise without taking into account future developtments. Nothing guarentees such targets will be reached. A slumping economy, awful market, ups and downs of the UK pound, not enough highly skilled labourers, and a great many similar excuses may affect the creation of these 300 a year, future jobs.
Theresa May’s goverment may be crowing about the deal of the century and call the Japanese “investment” a brilliant coupe. Let’s wait and see what the bargain sale of this “jewel in the crown of British technology” will bring the job market and the UK – the next five years.
Guardian editorial: foreign takeover not inward investment