“Taking Mobileye public is admitting Intel’s failure”
10 December, 2021
Does taking Mobileye public is the most important Intel's step since the acquisition of Mobileye? Oppenheimer Israel's analyst: "This is Intel's way of financing its growth in capital expenditures"
Intel’s intention to take Mobileye public in mid 2022, less than 5 years after its acquisition, continues to resonate and raises questions regarding the direction its current CEO, Pat Gelsinger, is leading the company. In light of the major importance Intel attributed to Mobileye in its future plans, it seems that the expected offering is not a single move; rather it is a sharp u-turn from the strategy led in the past years by the two former CEOs.
In a recent conversation with Techtime, Sergey Vastchenok – Senior Equity Analyst at Oppenheimer Israel explained that the expected offering is the price Intel pays for its mistakes in recent years. “In the recent years, Intel lagged behind its major competitors in the manufacturing world, mainly TSMC and Samsung, with regard to capital expenditures (Capex). This process led Intel to lose its technological advantage”.
“New CEO, Pat Gelsinger, who grew within Intel and is part of its genetics, came with a vision of reviving its past market dominance, and he did so by massively increasing investments in the company’s organic capabilities”.
The diminution in Intel’s status is reflected very clearly in its share performance in recent years. In the past 5 years, Intel’s share raised by only 47% whiles the Philadelphia Stock Exchange (PHLX) index, grouping leading chip companies, raised by 354%. Nvidia and AMD, Intel direct competitors, raised by 1300% within the same period.
Vastchenok: “Intel plans to invest 20-25 billion annually in the coming years to restore the lost advantage. Since the company is deficient with cash, the main question is how to finance the planned increase in investments. Increasing its debt may harm the company’s credit rating, while additional offering in the stock market may weaken its already weak share. The best method of raising funds is to start selling assets”.
Mobileye is a perfect asset to sell
According to Vastchenok, selling Mobileye is a rational step, since its market value is considerably high, and since there was never a real synergy between the two companies’ core activities. Not only there was no real synergy, one may say that it was even a negative one, since Mobileye buy its chips from TSMC and not from Intel. This led to the situation where Intel financed Mobileye’s development strategy, while TSMC benefit the production orders”.
“Mobileye is a growing business, and is considered a pioneer and a leader in the advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) world. Yet, it is still difficult to forecast its revenues and its market share in the future autonomous vehicle world, since there are many competitors nowadays. Every technology giant is joining the game. At this situation, if the market is willing to pay a good price for your assets – you better sell. If Intel is going to make it public at the mentioned price, it could significantly enlarge its cash reserves. This move will do well for both Intel and Mobileye. Mobileye has better chance to prosper outside Intel’s wings. As we can see, since it was acquired by Intel they have lost plenty of quality human resources, the same way Intel lost human resources for its competitors”.
What is the future of Moovit?
Selling Mobileye raises questions regarding the future of other companies bought by Intel in the recent years. In May 2020 Intel acquired Moovit – the Israeli public transport platform – for $900 million. This surprising acquisition presented as another step in Intel’s vision to provide Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) services in the future, based on Mobileye’s autonomous vehicles and Moovit’s application. In fact, it seems that the real synergy is between Mobileye and Moovit. “Almost all the acquisitions made by Intel at the past years, to include FPGA vendor Altera, were not related to the core activities of Intel. Taking Mobileye public is an admission of the failure of the acquisition strategy of recent years. It looks like the current CEO is being aware of Intel core expertise and what should they focus at”.