Porsche is holding talks to acquire a 10-percent stake at Israeli-based supplier Mobileye for $150 million, according to the Calcalist financial news. Mobileye, a developer of safety technology to assist drivers, is looking for three to four new partners who together could pour in between $300 million and $500 million in the company in exchange for a 20- to 30-percent stake, Calcalist said.
Blackstone Group and Fidelity Investments are also expected to invest between $100 million and $150 million each into the company. The report said the company will approach current shareholders who might be willing to dispose their stakes to new investors.
Calcalist said the fresh investments into Mobileye could help set a valuation for the company ahead of a possible share offering on NASDAQ. Goldman Sachs currently holds the largest share in Mobileye at 25 percent.
Mobileye's safety systems include a windshield-mounted camera that takes images of what is in the vehicle’s front. The images are then processed by a chip made by STMicroelectronics, which then provides audio-visual warnings to drivers on a small device on the dashboard.
Warnings include those for avoiding vehicle collisions and those for avoiding passenger collisions. The system then automatically brakes prior to impact. Mobileye expects sales of its safety products to more than double annually in the next few years as carmakers aim to provide more safety features in their vehicles. [source: Reuters]