US chipmaker Intel on Monday announced its decision to buy Israeli driverless technology firm Mobileye for $15.3 billion.
In a filing to the US Securities and Exchange Commission, Intel stated, “Under the terms of the agreement, a subsidiary of Intel will commence a tender offer to acquire all of the issued and outstanding ordinary shares of Mobileye for $63.54 per share in cash, representing a fully-diluted equity value of approximately $15.3 billion and an enterprise value of $14.7 billion.”
Tech analysts predict that it will be the biggest technology takeover in Israel’s history and the largest acquisition dedicated for self-driving sector.
While the transaction is expected to close within the next nine months, the price given by Intel for the buyout represents a premium of around 33% to Mobileye’s Friday closing price of $47 a share.
Mobileye was founded in 1999 by Ziv Aviram along with Prof Amnon Shashua of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. The company made its name known to automotive OEMs for inventing a technology to alert drivers to obstacles.
The Israeli company went public on the New York Stock Exchange in 2014, raising $890 million in the largest Israeli IPO in the US. Intel stated that Mobileye’s CTO and Co-founder, Prof Shashua, will lead Intel’s autonomous driving division, which will be based in Israel. Doug Davis, Intel’s SVP, will oversee how Mobileye and Intel work together across the whole company.
Aviram made it clear that autonomous cars are not a dream anymore and laid out a roadmap for its rollout. “It’s not a matter of if... It’s matter of when,” he said. The first of three phases, Aviram said, was the advent of semi-autonomous driving, which is already available in some cars today, including Tesla’s Model S.
By 2018, the next phase, called automated driving, will be available. By 2021, Aviram said, he anticipates fully autonomous cars will hit the road.
Zoomcar associates with Mobileye
Zoomcar CEO and Co-founder Greg Moran, in an interaction with DH, had revealed that it has begun to deploy Mobileye’s technology.
“We are trying hard to get involved in deep technology initiatives. Our partnership with Mobileye will help us get into computer vision to make a more intelligent and predictable driving experience,” he said. Jon Medved, CEO of Jerusalem-based crowdfunding venture capital platform OurCrowd and also an investor in Zoomcar, said that it was he who took the company to Mobileye.