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Jul 08, 2013, 09.01 AM IST | Source: Reuters

Mobileye says investors value it at $1.5 bn

The Amsterdam-based company said the five equity investments totaled about USD 400 million. The figures provided by the company imply that the five investors collectively acquired roughly a 27 percent stake in Mobileye.

Mobileye says investors value it at $1.5 bn

Mobileye NV, whose collision-avoidance technology has been adopted in cars made by the likes of BMW AG and General Motors Co , said on Sunday it had raised money from five investors that valued its equity at USD 1.5 billion, highlighting the market potential for driver-assistance systems.

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Founded in 1999 by an Israeli businessman and a professor of computer science at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Mobileye sold its 1 millionth driver assistance system last year. It has said it expects to sell 2 million more in 2013.

The Amsterdam-based company said the five equity investments totaled about USD 400 million. The figures provided by the company imply that the five investors collectively acquired roughly a 27 percent stake in Mobileye.

Mobileye did not name the buyers and sellers of the equity, but said some of the largest US-based global institutional asset managers and a leading Chinese government-affiliated financial investor were among the investors who bought into the company.

A person familiar with the matter disclosed the names of these five new investors on condition of anonymity because their identities have been kept confidential. They are BlackRock Inc , Fidelity Investments, Wellington Management Co, car rental company Enterprise Holdings Inc and China's Sailing Capital Management, the person said.

Mobileye's collision-warning systems, sold to suppliers and automakers for a little more than USD 100 each, are an option for customers in car brands including Volvo AB , Ford Motor Co and Hyundai Corp.

Starting in 2014, Mobileye's products will be a standard feature on many cars because of new regulations that will require driver-assistance systems for cars to receive five-star safety ratings.

Mobileye's systems include a camera mounted on the windshield that takes pictures of what is in front of the driver. A chip, manufactured by STMicroelectronics , processes the images and in real-time issues audio-visual warnings to drivers on a small device on the dashboard.

Among the warnings are those for collision if another car is too close and if the car is in danger of hitting a pedestrian. The system automatically brakes before impact.

The transaction, in which Goldman Sachs & Co and Morgan Stanley served as the placement agents, is expected to close in August, Mobileye said.

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