Intel to buy Israeli driverless car-tech firm Mobileye for $15 bln

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U.S. chip giant Intel has agreed to buy Israeli driverless technology firm Mobileye, Israeli media reported on Monday.

JERUSALEM (MARCH 13, 2017) (REUTERS) – U.S. chipmaker Intel agreed to buy driverless technology firm Mobileye for $15.3 billion on Monday (March 13), positioning itself for a dominant role in the autonomous-driving sector after missing the market for mobile phones.

The $63.54 per share cash deal is the biggest technology takeover in Israel’s history and the largest purchase of a company solely focused on the self-driving sector.

Intel will integrate its automated driving group with Mobileye’s operations, with the combined entity being run by Mobileye Chairman Amnon Shashua from Israel.

Israel Fisher, a correspondent for the Marker Daily Newspaper, said that the deal is a “big success” for Israel.

“That is a vote of confidence for the Israeli Tech industry, for a bit less than $15 billion, that is by far the biggest deal for the Israeli Tech industry. Just a few years ago when Google bought Waze for a bit more than a billion dollars, that was a huge news here in Israel, but now for $15 billion? That is very big news and very big success for Israel,” he said.

“Intel was looking for a way to go into the automotive industry, to the autonomies car industry and she (it) signed up a deal with BMW, and Mobileye last year, but this is different. Now, she (it) is buying Mobileye, now she (it) really putting a step into this industry and really trying to compete with companies like Google and Uber and the car giants like General Motors, Ford and Volvo,” Fisher added.

Mobileye accounts for 70 percent of the global market for driver-assistance and anti-collision systems. It employs 660 people and had adjusted net income of $173.3 million last year.

Intel said it expected the transaction to close within the next nine months and to immediately boost its non-GAAP earnings per share and free cash flow.

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