Computing giant Intel announced Monday, March 13, that it will buy Jerusalem-based autonomous driving tech company Mobileye for $15.3 billion in the largest-ever sale of an Israeli high-tech company.
The center of Mobileye’s operations will remain in Israel, where Intel plans to build a global development center to handle international activity regarding autonomous vehicles. Mobileye makes sensors and systems so a vehicle’s computer knows where it is in relation to its surroundings.
The deal, worth about 45 percent more than the company’s market valuation before the announcement, is expected to close in nine months.
“Having visiting Mobileye with our delegations over the last few years, it is exciting to see their innovation leadership pay off,” Conexx President Guy Tessler said. “Even more exciting is to learn that they will stay in Israel to lead the upcoming revolution in driving and automotive.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu congratulated Mobileye President and CEO Ziv Aviram by phone and told him that the deal is a source of Israeli pride.
The record for an Israeli tech sale was Cisco’s $5 billion purchase of NDS Group in 2012. Other notable Israeli exits include Google buying Waze for $1.1 billion and Apple buying 3D sensor specialist PrimeSense for about $300 million, both in 2013.
“The deal dramatically proves that the vision which we are leading is being realized,” Netanyahu said. “Israel is becoming a global technology center, not just in cyber but in the automotive sector as well.”