An Israeli autonomous driving company has been sold to US chip giant Intel for £12.6bn, in the largest ever sale of an Israeli tech company.
Mobileye, which was founded in 1999 and is based in Jerusalem, has pioneered technology to develop driverless vehicles, which it hopes will drastically reduce both road accidents and car use in general. The company has forged ties with a number of automotive companies with the aim of producing automated vehicles by 2021.
Announcing the deal yesterday, Intel’s CEO Brian Krzanich called it a “great step forward,” and said that “together, we can accelerate the future of autonomous driving with improved performance in a cloud-to-car solution at a lower cost for automakers”.
Ziv Aviram, Mobileye’s co-founder, president and CEO said: “By pooling together our infrastructure and resources, we can enhance and accelerate our combined know-how… together, we will provide an attractive value proposition for the automotive industry”.
Following completion of the deal, which is expected by the end of the year, the organisation will be led by Prof. Amnon Shashua, Mobileye’s co-founder, chairman and CTO. Mobileye listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 2014. Yesterday, its stock jumped by 28.2 per cent.
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu telephoned Mobileye’s Aviram yesterday to congratulate him. Netanyahu said that “the deal dramatically proves that the vision which we are leading is being realised,” adding that “Israel is becoming a global technology centre, not just in cyber [technology] but in the automotive sector as well”.
Science and Technology Minister Ofir Akunis said that the deal is reflective of Israel’s technological expertise, which is a source of “Israeli pride”.
He added: “I am confident that we will continue be a trailblazing nation that other countries of the world will look at with respect and amazement.”