Computer chip giant Intel is purchasing Israeli company Mobileye for between $14 billion and $15 billion in Israel’s largest high-tech deal ever.
Mobileye, which is listed on the New York Stock Exchange, has a market value of $10.5 billion.
Intel confirmed the purchase, saying it was made “in an effort to boost the chipmaker’s position in the autonomous car market,” according to a statement.
Jerusalem-based Mobileye was founded in 1999 by Prof. Amnon Shashua, who serves as chief technology officer, and Ziv Aviram, the CEO.
The company makes driver assistance systems and is enhancing the technology for self-driving cars.
The company’s technology is used by traditional car makers competing with tech giants such as Google, Apple and Tesla.
Intel has striven in recent years for an edge in innovative fields after losing the smartphone-chip market to its main competitor, Qualcomm.
As part of these efforts, it has begun cooperating with Mobileye.
Last year, Mobileye teamed with BMW and Intel to develop technology that could put self-driving cars on the road by around 2021. A few months ago, Mobileye and Intel also teamed with Britain’s Delphi Automotive.
Intel is the largest employer in the Israel with some 10,000 workers. With the Mobileye acquisition, that number would rise by the hundreds.
Intel currently has a market value of $170 billion, cash reserves of about $17 billion and debt of $25 billion.
In the past year the company’s shares have risen 15%, but in the past five years only 30%.
Even before its self-driving-car efforts, Mobileye was strong in automated driver assistance systems. Its revenues surged from $40 million in 2012 to $358 million last year.
According to analysts’ forecasts, this number will rise 40% this year to $500 million.
The $10.5 billion market value represents an 85% increase from July 2014, when the shares were issued.