US chip giant Intel Corporation announced on Tuesday its intentions to take Israel’s Mobileye public in the United States in mid-2022 via an initial public offering (IPO). The Jerusalem-based leader in driver-assistance and autonomous driving solutions is expected to have a valuation of $50 billion.
The news comes four years after Intel acquired Mobileye in 2017 for a whopping $15.3 billion, Israel’s largest deal ever at the time, and one day after the semiconductor firm announced it will acquire Israel’s Screenovate in a deal estimated at over $100 million.
The move “will unlock the value of Mobileye for Intel shareholders by creating a separate publicly traded company and will build on Mobileye’s successful track record and serve its expanded market,” Intel said in a statement.
The semiconductor chip manufacturer also said Intel’s acquisition of Mobileye “has been a great success” as the Israeli firm has “experienced substantial revenue growth, achieved numerous technical innovations, and made significant investments directed to solving the most difficult scientific and technology problems to prepare the deployment of autonomous driving at scale.”
“Mobileye has achieved record revenue with 2021 gains expected to be more than 40 percent higher than 2020, highlighting the powerful benefits to both companies of our ongoing partnership,” Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger said. “Amnon and I determined that an IPO provides the best opportunity to build on Mobileye’s track record for innovation and unlock value for shareholders.”
Intel said it will remain the majority owner of Mobileye and that the two companies will continue as strategic partners, where they will collaborate on projects as they pursue the growth of computing in the automotive sector. The executive team at Mobileye will remain the same, with Prof. Amnon Shashua to continue as the company’s CEO. Moovit, the Israeli transit data firm acquired by Intel last year for $900 million, and Intel teams working LiDAR and radar development as well as other Mobileye projects will be aligned as part of Mobileye, Intel said.
Founded in 1999, Mobileye went public in 2014 on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), before being acquired by Intel in 2017. The company has scaled autonomous vehicles (AV) test programs across multiple cities around the world, among other projects, and unveiled its production robotaxi. The company has secured multiple deals for mobility-as-a-service (MaaS) programs in 2023 and consumer and business-to-business vehicle production designs or its self-driving system in 2024.
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“Mobileye has realized accelerated growth and opportunity since joining the Intel family, nearly tripling annual chip shipments, revenue and the number of employees since the acquisition,” said Amnon Shashua, founder and CEO of Mobileye. “Our alignment with Intel continues to provide Mobileye with valuable technical resources and support that has yielded strong revenue along with free cash flow that allows us to fund our AV development work from current revenue. Intel and Mobileye’s ongoing technology co-development will continue to deliver great platform solutions for our customers.”
Intel has no intention of spinning off or divesting its majority ownership interest. A final decision on the IPO, its conditions, and its ultimate timing are pending, Intel said.
Since it was nabbed by Intel, Mobileye remains one of the top Israeli companies making an impact on the mobility industry and the world. At the Smart Mobility Summit in Tel Aviv last month, Professor Shashua kicked off the event by revealing Mobileye’s plans to move forward in the industry.
Mobileye is “developing the entire spectrum because autonomous driving could play out in one or two ways — in the form of consumer AVs or robotaxis, taxis or shuttles that are owned by a company who own a fleet of these vehicles and will charge consumers for a drive,” he said during his talk.
“We expect more than 100,000 vehicles like that in 2022,” Shashua said. In September, Mobileye and Intel said at the 2021 IAA Mobility show that Mobileye’s new self-driving robotaxi, powered by Mobileye Drive, the company’s fully integrated self-driving system, was being tested in Munich and would soon be ready for commercial deployment.
There are also ongoing self-driving projects in New York City, Tokyo, and Detroit, Michigan, with plans to begin a project in Paris.