Mobileye in record sale
TECH GIANT Intel is buying Jerusalem-based driverless systems developer Mobileye for $15.3 billion (£12.5bn).
The deal is by far the biggest ever acquisition of an Israeli company, shattering the previous record exit when Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway paid $6 billion (£4.9bn) for Israeli metal cutting tools developer Iscar.
Intel is paying a huge premium for the company, which had a value of $10.5 billion (£8.5bn) at close of trade on Wall Street on Friday evening.
Intel said it would merge Mobileye with its own automated driving group, and headquarter the combined company in Israel.
Intel CEO Brian Krzanich said: “Mobileye brings the industry’s best automotive-grade computer vision and strong momentum with automakers and suppliers. Together, we can accelerate the future of autonomous driving.”
Founded in 1999, Mobileye’s ideas were far ahead of their time and it struggled to find investors. The biggest shareholders were founders chairman Amnon Shashua, CEO Ziv Aviram and Israeli car importer Dr Shmuel Harlap.
Mr Aviram said: “By pooling together our infrastructure and resources, we can enhance and accelerate our combined know-how in the areas of mapping, virtual driving, simulators, development tool chains, hardware, data centres and high-performance computing platforms.”