British MNC and world’s 2nd largest telecommunications company Vodafone on Monday announced that it has entered into an agreement with the main shareholders of Cobra Automotive Technologies to acquire it through a voluntary tender offer at €1.49 per share in cash, valuing the firm at €145m.
The Italian security and telematics firm Cobra Automotive Technologies is acquired with the view of expanding its machine-to-machine (M2M) business. According to the Wall Street Journal, the British Telecom giant is looking forward to the integration of its M2M technology and telecommunication within consumer appliances, vehicles, and other consumer products.
Erik Brenneis, Director of M2M, Vodafone said: "The combination of Vodafone and Cobra will create a new global provider of connected car services. We plan to invest in the business to offer our automotive and insurance customers a full range of telematics services."
Cobra is a Milan Stock Exchange listed company with a remarkable global presence. It has operations in Brazil, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Switzerland and the UK. Cobra Automotive Technologies provides vehicle manufacturers, dealerships and aftermarket customers with a range of products and services including telematics, usage-based insurance, and vehicle tracking.
The company’s largest stakeholder, the Intek Group, said in a statement that it had agreed a deal in order to tender its majority stake of 51.5 percent at a value of €74.3m.
Vodafone aims to acquire at least 95 percent of Cobra at a voluntary tender price of €1.49 per share and is set to initiate the process in the coming weeks. The UK group is yet to receive a nod from the anti-trust legislation with a completion date which is expected by the 3rd quarter of this year.
Vodafone has agreed with Cobra’s main shareholders, who together own 73.96 percent of the firm, to agree to tender their shares into the offer. The UK group has also agreed with certain minority shareholders of Cobra's Telematics subsidiary to acquire a 20% stake for €20m, conditional on conclusion of the offer.