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Intel is acquiring self-driving tech supplier Mobileye for close to $15 billion

The deal gives Intel control over a big auto supplier in the self-driving space.

Intel CEO Brian Krzanich with Mobileye CTO Amnon Sashua

Intel has agreed to acquire Israeli automotive supplier Mobileye for $63.54 per share in cash or $14.7 billion, the companies announced on Monday.

The deal price is a 34 percent premium to where Mobileye’s shares were trading at the close on Friday. The stock is now up as much as 32 percent in pre-market trading today.

The acquisition, which is already approved by the boards of both companies, is expected to close within nine months. Mobileye develops cameras and sensors that serve as the eyes of many self-driving car systems. Intel, which missed the transition to mobile, gains what could become a significant supplier to the emerging self-driving car business.

Intel’s automotive group will be folded into Mobileye’s operations and led by the Israeli company, according to a letter to employees from Mobileye CEO Ziv Aviram.

“[Intel’s automotive group] will form part of Mobileye and be headquartered in Israel,” Aviram wrote. “Within the [group] are resident skill sets that are largely complementary to ours. ... Combining forces will help accelerate our plans and lower our execution risks.”

It’s a significant deal in the world of autonomous technology. Mobileye works with 27 automakers and has partnerships with the vast majority of automotive suppliers. While Mobileye will provide the eyes of an autonomous system, the idea is Intel’s chip and other technology will provide the computing aspect of the system.

Already, Mobileye and Intel have worked together as part of a partnership with BMW to develop autonomous cars by 2021. Mobileye also has deals with several automakers to collect a centralized and shared mapping platform to be used across car companies with autonomous vehicles.

“The kind of deep collaboration we need to do in order to accelerate things cannot be done without being together,” Mobileye CTO Amnon Sashua said during a press call.

The acquisition makes Intel — which would provide the connectivity, data analysis and computing in a self-driving system — a critical cog in the self-driving and transportation industry. It also insures that Intel doesn’t miss an opportunity to cash in on the recent self-driving wave.

According to Intel CEO Brian Krzanich, the deal is also about having control of important troves of data.

“Our strategy is to make Intel the driving force of the data revolution across every technology and every industry,” Krzanich wrote in a letter to employees. “We are a DATA company. The businesses we focus on, and deliver solutions to, create, use and analyze massive amounts of data.”

As part of the agreement, Aviram and Sashua will continue to run the company.


This article originally appeared on Recode.net.

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