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Intel Is Buying Autonomous Driving Tech Maker Mobileye NV For $14 Billion

Image credit Mobileye

Intel today announced that it will be buying Mobileye for a total of $15.3 billion - $63.54 per share - which is around 33 percent more than what the stocks finished trading for on Friday. The entire deal has an estimated equity value of $15.3 billion, and enterprise value of $14.7 billion.

Intel just plunked down $15.3 billion for Mobileye, a leading manufacturer of sensors and cameras for autonomous cars, as it tries to catch up with microchip rivals Nvidia and Qualcomm in the driverless auto industry. Mobileye works with 27 automakers and has partnerships with the vast majority of automotive suppliers. Together, those technologies are key to building autonomous cars and developing highly automated driving functions.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, spoke Monday (March 13) by telephone with Mobileye President and CEO Ziv Aviram and congratulated him on the largest deal in the history of Israel, which he called a source of Israeli pride. Amid safety concerns about Tesla's Autopilot technology, the two companies engaged in public finger-pointing.

I see it as reinforcing the potential that industry players see for autonomous driving, and also the investment that will be required to realize that opportunity.

Intel's purchase of Mobileye is the biggest acquisition of an Israeli high-tech company to date. Currently, Mobileye's computer vision systems underpin the advanced driver assists present in many new vehicles across a wide range of brands.

The two companies are working with BMW to put around 40 self-driving test vehicles on the road in the second half of this year, the report added. The technology is slated to be tested on roads in the USA and Europe.

It was founded by Amnon Shashua in 1999 to help lower motorist fatalities and injuries. The company also has relationships with 27 vehicle manufacturers, which was likely a key factor in Intel's decision to go ahead with the acquisition.

The merger aims to give the company a head start in the autonomous vehicle industry, combining Intel's computing and "cloud" experience with Mobileye's expertise in computer vision.