Intel completes acquisition of Mobileye shares in tender
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Intel completes acquisition of Mobileye shares in tender

Companies say Ziv Aviram, a co-founder of the Israeli firm and its current president and CEO, to retire effective immediately

A man walks past the logo of Israeli car tech firm Mobileye on the company's offices in Jerusalem on March 13, 2017. (AFP PHOTO / THOMAS COEX)
A man walks past the logo of Israeli car tech firm Mobileye on the company's offices in Jerusalem on March 13, 2017. (AFP PHOTO / THOMAS COEX)

US giant Intel Corp. and Israeli automotive technology firm Mobileye N.V. said on Tuesday that Intel has completed the acquisition of the outstanding shares of the Jerusalem-based company in a tender.

The acquisition is expected to accelerate innovation for the automotive industry and positions Intel as a leading technology provider in the fast-growing market for highly and fully autonomous vehicles, the companies said in a statement.

The combination of Intel and Mobileye will allow Mobileye’s computer vision expertise — the eyes of the vehicle — to complement Intel’s high-performance computing and connectivity expertise – the brains — “to create automated driving solutions from cloud to car,” the statement said.

Intel estimates the vehicle systems, data and services market opportunity to be worth up to $70 billion by 2030.

“With Mobileye, Intel emerges as a leader in creating the technology foundation that the automotive industry needs for an autonomous future,” said Intel CEO Brian Krzanich. “It’s an exciting engineering challenge and a huge growth opportunity for Intel. Even more exciting is the potential for autonomous cars to transform industries, improve society and save millions of lives.”

Amnon Shashua, co-founder and chairman of Mobileye arrives to a Mobileye and Intel Workers Conference in Jerusalem, March 14, 2017. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Amnon Shashua, co-founder and chairman of Mobileye, arrives at a Mobileye and Intel Workers Conference in Jerusalem, March 14, 2017. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

The transaction will enable a merger of operations between Intel’s Automated Driving Group (ADG) and Mobileye, which Intel agreed to buy in March for $15.3 billion in the largest-ever purchase of an Israeli tech firm.

As part of the deal, Cyclops, a subsidiary of Intel, put out a tender to acquire all of the issued and outstanding ordinary shares of Mobileye for $63.54 per share in cash.

The companies said that the combined Mobileye organization will lead Intel’s autonomous driving efforts, and will have the full support of Intel resources and technology to define and deliver cloud-to-car solutions for the automotive market segment, the statement said.

Mobileye will remain headquartered in Israel and will be led by its co-founder Amnon Shashua, who will serve as Intel senior vice president and Mobileye CEO and chief technology officer.

The companies said that Ziv Aviram, a Mobileye co-founder and its current president and CEO, will retire from the company, effective immediately.

“Leading in autonomous driving technology requires a combination of innovative proprietary software products and versatile open-system hardware platforms that enable customers and partners to customize solutions,” said Shashua. “For the first time, the auto industry has a single partner with deep expertise and a cultural legacy in both areas. Mobileye is very excited to begin this new chapter.”

Ziv Aviram, president and CEO of Mobileye, speaking at a conference in Jerusalem, Nov. 23, 2016. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)
Ziv Aviram, president and CEO of Mobileye, speaking at a conference in Jerusalem, Nov. 23, 2016. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

Mobileye will support and build on both companies’ existing technology and customer relationships with automakers, tier‑1 suppliers and semiconductor partners to develop advanced driving assist, highly autonomous and fully autonomous driving programs, the statement said.

“This is a huge opportunity. We see this as changing the world and the way we drive,” said Krzanich in a conference call with journalists, adding that Shashua is a “technologist, one of the best I’ve seen over the years.”

“Today is an exciting moment for everyone,” Shashua said on the call. “We now have unity of purpose to build the future of transportation.”

Commenting on Aviram’s departure from the company, Shashua said that during his 18 years at the firm, he accompanied the company “at its most strategic junctions,” including Mobileye’s initial public offering of shares on the New York Stock Exchange, which to date is the largest IPO ever of an Israeli company.

“After 18 years a person is entitled to start a new path,” Shashua said. “He will continue to be with us in spirit, at least.” He added that the two would continue to work together at OrCam, a startup that develops devices to assist the blind and visually impaired, which they also co-founded.

Mobileye plans to delist its ordinary shares from the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) as soon as possible, the statement said. Following the delisting from the NYSE, Mobileye ordinary shares will not be listed or registered on another national securities exchange. Delisting is likely to reduce significantly the liquidity and marketability of any Mobileye ordinary shares that have not been tendered pursuant to the tender offer.

The companies said that a subsequent tender-offering period that is scheduled to expire at 11:59 p.m., New York City time, on August 21, 2017, will allow minority shareholders who have not yet tendered their shares the possibility to do so for an additional period.

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