Intel, the chipmaking giant, said on Monday that it would pay $15.3bn to buy Mobileye, the maker of autonomous driving technology, in one of the biggest deals yet in the emerging field of self-driving cars and Israel’s biggest-ever cross-border acquisition.
The two companies announced a definitive agreement under which a subsidiary of Intel will begin a tender offer to buy all of Mobileye’s shares for $63.54 each in cash.
The two companies said that the deal would “accelerate innovation for the automotive industry and position Intel as a leading technology provider in the fast-growing market for highly and fully autonomous vehicles” – a market Intel estimates will be worth up to $10bn by 2030.
Jerusalem-headquartered Mobileye, co-founded in 1999 by Amnon Shashua, a professor of computer science at Hebrew University, and Ziv Amiram, today its chief executive, makes cameras and associated computer vision and machine learning technology that allows cars to make decisions on driving autonomously.
It supplies a number of global carmakers, and in January formed a partnership with BMW and Intel aimed at putting self-driving cars on the road in 2017.
Intel –one of many foreign tech groups with large operations in Israel is Israel’s largest high-tech employer, with 10,000 people on its payroll. It is investing $6bn in the country.
The purchase is the biggest by a foreign company of an Israeli one in the Jewish state’s 69-year history. To date, the biggest foreign acquisition in Israel was Cisco’s roughly $5bn purchase of NDS, a software company, in 2012.
In 2001 Lucent Technologies bought Chromatis Networks, which makes optical networking systems, for about $4.5bn. In 2013