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Qualcomm closes $4.5bn deal, will acquire autonomous driving assets

All-cash Veoneer deal's real target is full ownership of Arriver vehicle vision stacks

Chipmaker Qualcomm is set to acquire Swedish automotive technology company Veoneer next week in a complex deal to bolster Qualcomm’s driver assistance and autonomous vehicle portfolio.

It appears that Qualcomm's actual target is Veoneer's share of Arriver, a collaboration that was set up between the two firms that centers on autonomous driving technology.

In a statement Veoneer announced that all parties to the agreement had settled on a closing date for the sale of April 1, barring regulatory objections, and announced a new post-merger CEO for the company - Jacob Svanberg, Veoneer's Senior Vice President of the Lidar Product Area.

The acquisition is the result of an agreement between Qualcomm and SWW Partners, a New York-based investment firm, to acquire Veoneer for $37 per share in an all-cash transaction, representing a total equity value for the company of $4.5 billion.

However, after the deal closes, SWW Partners will apparently acquire all outstanding capital stock of Veoneer, after which it will sell the Arriver portion of the business to Qualcomm and retain Veoneer’s Tier-1 supplier businesses, in a move announced last year.

The Arriver business was created in 2021 as an effort between Qualcomm and Veoneer to develop Autonomous Driving (AD) and Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), integrating Veoneer's software stack and Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Ride system-on-chip (SoC) hardware.

Furthermore, it appears that Qualcomm’s bid for Veoneer came after the firm had already accepted a takeover deal from another company, Canada-based Magna International, which is also involved in the automotive industry. Qualcomm outbid Magna, which had offered $3.8 billion for Veoneer.

Qualcomm said it intends to incorporate Arriver’s Computer Vision, Drive Policy and Driver Assistance assets into its own Snapdragon Ride Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) solution. Qualcomm said this will enhance its ability to deliver an open and competitive ADAS platform for automakers and Tier-1s at scale.

The automotive segment represents a small but growing part of Qualcomm's business, accounting for $975 million of its revenue in fiscal 2021, up by 51 percent on the previous year.

Earlier this month, Qualcomm announced a partnership with BMW to focus on development of automated driving technologies. The move, which also included Arriver, will involve more than 1,400 specialists in locations around the world, including Germany, USA, Sweden, China, Romania, and the BMW AD Test Center in Czech Republic. ®

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