PC chip giant Intel has inked a deal to acquire Mobileye, the tech company focused on self-driving cars, in a roughly $15.3 billion deal.
According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, the deal values Mobileye at $63.54 a share, marking a 34 percent premium to where the stock closed on Friday. Mobileye is attractive to Intel because it makes camera systems based on semiconductors that power some of the automated features already in cars today, and because it is working to incorporate that technology into the future of self-driving cars.
The acquisition “merges the intelligent eyes of the autonomous car with the intelligent brain that actually drives the car,” Intel Chief Executive Brian Krzanich said in a note to employees, reported the WSJ. “The saying, ‘what’s under the hood,’ will increasingly refer to computing, not horsepower.”
Intel and Mobileye are no strangers to each other, as the two companies, along with BMW, are in a partnership to get 40 self-driving cars on the roadway in a test of the technology. Intel is among a slew of technology companies that are in a race to play a big role in self-driving cars and the technology needed to make it a reality. Alphabet, Uber, Apple and Tesla have thrown their cards on the table as well. Same goes for the traditional car makers, including GM and Ford, that want a piece of the self-driving market pie.
Intel used its overseas cash to make the $15 billion purchase of Mobileye, with the chip maker saying it plans to use offshore cash to bankroll the deal. The WSJ noted that as of the end of December, it has $13.6 billion in cash and cash equivalents held by its non-U.S. units. Intel and Mobileye said that with the acquisition, Intel will have closer relationships to suppliers and car makers in the self-driving market.