Israeli automotive technology firm Mobileye said it has received an Israeli Tax Authority ruling that was a crucial regulatory permit needed to go ahead with the sale of its shares to US giant Intel Corp. in a masssive $15.3 billion deal.
The Jerusalem based firm also said it was further delaying the deadline for the share sale to US giant Intel by an additional eight days.
Intel in March agreed to buy Mobileye, a Jerusalem-based developer of advanced vision and driver assistance systems, in what would be the largest ever purchase of an Israeli tech firm.
As part of the deal, Cyclops, a subsidiary of Intel, would put out a tender to acquire all of the issued and outstanding ordinary shares of Mobileye for $63.54 per share in cash. This tender offer deadline was originally set for June 21, but was delayed to July 20, as Mobileye awaited the necessary regulatory permits. Now the deadline has been extended further to July 28, at 5p.m. New York time, Mobileye said in a statement on Friday.
The share sale to Intel still remains subject to regulatory approvals from the Korean Fair-Trade authority, Mobileye said, and Intel’s tender offer for the shares will be extended until all conditions are met, the statement said.
Mobileye was awaiting the Israeli tax ruling which would classify the deal in Israel as a share sale, exempting foreign investors from taxes, even if it is classified as an asset sale in The Netherlands where the company was incorporated. The tax ruling also reduces the minimum number of shares that are required to be tendered in the sale: to 67 percent from 95% of the outstanding Mobileye shares, the company said in the Friday statement.
After the sale is complete Intel intends to convert Mobileye into a privately held company, delisting its shares from the New York Stock Exchange where they are traded, the statement said.
On June 13, shareholders held a meeting in Amsterdam where they approved the sale to Intel.
Mobileye develops sensors and artificial intelligence that allow a vehicle’s onboard computer to know where it is in relation to other vehicles, pedestrians and the surroundings, the key technologies needed for cars to eventually safely drive themselves.