Israeli chipmaker Valens to merge with PTK in SPAC deal at $1.16b valuation

The Hod Hasharon-based firm will begin trading on the NYSE once the deal is finalized in the fall

Shoshanna Solomon is The Times of Israel's Startups and Business reporter

An engineer working at Valens, a high-speed chipmaker for the audio-video and automotive sectors. (Courtesy)
An engineer working at Valens, a high-speed chipmaker for the audio-video and automotive sectors. (Courtesy)

Valens, a maker of high-speed chips for the audio-video and automotive markets, said Tuesday it will merge with special purpose acquisition company PTK Acquisition Corp., a special purpose acquisition company, in a transaction that values the Israeli firm at $1.16 billion.

The company will be called Valens and will trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “VLN” following the transaction’s finalization, which is expected to occur later this fall, the companies said in a statement.

The deal will see Valens raising $240 million of gross proceeds from the deal.

The Hod Hasharon, Israel-based firm, founded in 2006 by founders Massad Eyal, Alon Benzaray, Gaby Gur-Cohen, Eyran Lida, Nadav Banet and Dror Jerushalmi, makes semiconductor chips for the delivery of uncompressed high-definition multimedia content for the automotive, industrial and consumer electronics market. The company has shipped over 25 million chipsets worldwide to date, the statement said.

Valens founders, right to left: Alon Benzaray, Nadav Banet, Massad Eyal, Gaby Gur-Cohen, Eyran Lida, Dror Jerushalmi. (Courtesy)

The startup has raised $164 million to date from investors including Goldman Sachs, Mitsui & Co. Global Investment; Mamga Venture Partners and Genesis Partners, according to Start-Up Nation Central.

Gideon Ben-Zvi, Valens’s CEO, said the firm’s chipsets are in “in high volume production with several leading automotive Tier-1s and are currently on the road in Daimler vehicles. The automotive market presents an immense opportunity that will continue to grow as OEMs introduce new vehicles with far more sensors and displays than ever before.”

Valens chipsets are poised to “revolutionize the global automotive industry” with connectivity solutions for infotainment applications, advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and autonomous driving, he said.

Peter Kuo, CEO of PTK Acquisition Corp., said that PTK identified a “rare opportunity to combine with a company that is defining the future of connectivity and is validated by multiple industry standards.”

“With a proven track record of success, Valens is public company ready, with a large addressable market, marquee customers, and a compelling business model with a high degree of revenue visibility,” Kuo said.

The board of directors of each of Valens and PTK have unanimously approved the transaction.

The transaction requires the approval of the stockholders of PTK and Valens and is subject to customary closing conditions, including a registration statement being declared effective by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Valens shareholders will continue to hold their existing equity in the combined company, the statement said.

Following completion of the transaction, Valens will continue to be led by its management team, with Ben-Zvi as CEO, Dror Heldenberg as CFO, and all six Valens founders retaining their senior management or board positions, the statement said. Ker Zhang from PTK will join the Valens board of directors once the deal is complete.

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