Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday hailed the largest acquisition of Israeli technology in the country’s history, which he said would contribute to lower taxes nationwide.
“This is a day of rejoicing for the economy of Israel and for Jerusalem,” Netanyahu said at a meeting in Jerusalem with Intel Corp. CEO Brian Krzanich and Mobileye founders Prof. Amnon Shashua and Ziv Aviram, a day after Intel announced a deal to acquire the Israeli maker of chips for car cameras and driver-assistance features for a whopping $15 billion.
“Israel is quickly becoming a world technology powerhouse and this is not happening by chance,” Netanyahu said. “This is a vision we believe in, and lead, together with a free economy.”
The acquisition announced Monday — at a price that represented 35 percent premium to the market value of Mobileye — is the biggest ever for a tech company in Israel; it is also the largest deal to date involving semi-autonomous and autonomous driving technology.
Netanyahu said the achievement is due to the “brains of the people who sit around this table”. Brains combined with a free economy and low taxes and bureaucracy were essential components for deals like that to happen, he said.
Intel is not buying Mobileye to take it, he said, “but to expand the company, here,” and give it the tools to manage the developing sector of autonomous vehicles. “The fact that is it happening here is a diploma of honor also to the talent that is here in Israel and also to the faith in Israel as an economy.”
The deal will lead to thousands of added jobs and revenue to government coffers, he said. He added that after speaking with Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon, Israel will lower taxes for citizens, and the decision to do so has been made easier because of the extra revenue from the deal.