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Shares in Mobileye, the Israeli maker of autonomous driving technology, surged in pre-market trading on Monday after a media report that Intel is due to buy it for at least $15bn.
Mobileye and Intel would not confirm the report, published on Monday in The Marker, an Israeli business publication, which said that the two companies were due to announce the deal in the coming hours. The Marker said that Intel would pay $15-$16bn for all of the Nasdaq-listed company’s shares.
Shares in Mobileye jumped 29 per cent to $61.50 in pre-market trading.
If confirmed, it would be the biggest cross-border acquisition of an Israeli company ever.
Jerusalem-headquartered Mobileye, founded in 1999 by Amnon Shashua, a computer science professor at Hebrew University, and Ziv Amiram, today chief executive, makes cameras and associated 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 employs 10,000 people in Israel, mostly in research and development, and is investing $6bn in the country.
A deal would be significantly larger than any previous foreign acquisitions in Israel. To date, the largest was Cisco’s roughly $5bn purchase of NDS, a software company, in 2012. In 2001 Lucent Technologies bought Chromatis Networks for about $4.5bn in stock, but shut down the Israeli unit the following year. In 2013 Google, the search engine giant, in 2013 bought Waze, the Israeli navigation app, for $1.2bn.