Intel to buy Israeli driverless car systems maker Mobileye for $15.3 bn

Intel Corp today struck a deal to buy Israeli tech company Mobileye N.V., a maker of camera sensors and software for driverless cars, for $15.3 billion

Under the terms of the deal, Intel, the world's largest computer chipmaker, is offering to pay $63.54 per share in cash, a 34 percent premium to Mobileye's Friday closing price.

The proposed acquisition represents an equity value of around $15.3 billion and an enterprise value of $14.7 billion.

Post closing, the combined global autonomous driving company, will consist of Mobileye and Intel's Automated Driving Group, which will be based in Israel and led by Prof. Amnon Shashua, Mobileye's cofounder, chairman and CTO.

Founded in 1999, and based in Jerusalem, Mobileye develops computer vision and machine learning, data analysis, localisation and mapping for Advanced Driver Assistance Systems and autonomous driving.

The company's proprietary software algorithms and EyeQ chips perform detailed interpretations of the visual field in order to anticipate possible collisions with other vehicles, pedestrians, cyclists, animals, debris and other obstacles.

Its products are also able to detect roadway markings such as lanes, road boundaries, barriers and similar items; identify and read traffic signs, directional signs and traffic lights; create a Roadbook of localised drivable paths and visual landmarks using REM; and provide mapping for autonomous driving.

Its products are integrated into car models of several automakers, including Audi, General Motors, Nissan, Hyundai, Volkswagen, Daimler and BMW, and its four largest customers, GM, Nissan, Hyundai and BMW accounted for 57 per cent of its sales in 2016.

Mobileye, which employs around 660 people and posted net income of $173.3 million last year, holds a 70-per cent share of the global market for driver-assistance and anti-collision systems.

Intel said, ''the combination is expected to accelerate innovation for the automotive industry and position Intel as a leading technology provider in the fast-growing market for highly and fully autonomous vehicles.''

''Intel estimates the vehicle systems, data and services market opportunity to be up to $70 billion by 2030. This transaction extends Intel's strategy to invest in data-intensive market opportunities that build on the company's strengths in computing and connectivity from the cloud, through the network, to the device.''

Intel is competing with Google parent Alphabet, which has its Waymo driverless car project, Uber, which recently acquired self-driving truck company Otto, and is working on its own self-driving technology, Elon Musk's Tesla and autonomous vehicle technology chipmakers Nvidia and Qualcomm.

Last year, Qualcomm agreed to buy automotive chip supplier NXP for $47 billion, while Intel has taken a 15 per cent stake in car mapping company Here from a consortium of German automakers, and announced that it would invest $250 million in driverless car technologies startups.