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Traditional Car Companies Investing Billions in M&A to Play Catch-Up in Autotech


Traditional Car Companies Investing Billions in M&A to Play Catch-Up in Autotech Race Says Hampleton Partners’ Report

Autonomous vehicles, connected cars, anti-hacking security and mobile phones as passive keys are just some innovations on the road ahead for automotive tech M&A

London, 22 February 2018 – The latest Automotive M&A Market Report from international technology mergers and acquisitions advisors, Hampleton Partners, shows that established automotive companies, such as Ford and Continental, are investing billions to wrest back the initiative from their Silicon Valley rivals, Google, Apple and Tesla, in developing the auto industry of the future. 

David Riemenschneider, director, Hampleton Partners, says “We’re in a world where the car is now a technology platform, rather than a simple mode of transport. Traditional companies from across the automotive ecosystem are having to make the leap from supplying purely mechanical components to incorporating artificial intelligence, augmented reality and technology that enhances driver experience and safety.

“The upshot of this, is that buyers can come from anywhere, as we saw with the recent purchase of AI-first connected car technology platform provider Bright Box by Zurich Insurance

Group. Any company that has the ability to monetise AI data processing can benefit enormously from the autonomous and connected car revolution in the immediate future.”

As for deal volumes in the automotive sector, there were 146 active acquirers over the past 30 months and 20 of those companies made more than one acquisition. The median disclosed acquisition value was $110m.

The three most active acquirers over the period were Continental (four deals including purchase of Argus Cyber Security); Delphi (three deals including nuTonomy, self-driving vehicle software) and Reynolds & Reynolds (three deals including ReverseRisk, automotive dealership analytics SaaS).

As for the largest deals of 2017: Intel acquired MobilEye for $15.3 billion; Ford invested $1.0 billion into Argo AI and Delphi spent $400 million on nuTonomy, equal in deal-size with Dassault Systems’ acquisition of Exa Corporation.


Some other key points from the Hampleton Automotive M&A Market Report

Israel has emerged as a major hot spot for automotive technology development and M&A activity.  International car manufacturers opening research and development centres in Israel include Daimler, Skoda and SEAT. And two Israeli companies were the target of two of the highest-profile deals in Autotech when Intel purchased Mobileye for $15.3bn and Germany’s Continental acquired Argus Cyber Security, whose technology safeguards against the hacking of connected cars, for around $400m.

Japanese companies have stepped-up their M&A efforts and are emerging as serious contenders for auto-tech assets. Among them were automotive electronics manufacturer, Denso Corporation, which counted Fujitsu Ten and InfiniteKey as targets in the second half year.

One buyer to watch in this space is SoftBank. The Japanese telecommunications giant has just closed a mammoth $9.3 billion funding round in Uber; invested some $5 billion into Nvidia, a company that has unexpectedly pivoted to automotive; and has created SB Drive, an autonomous vehicle venture – indicating a wide-ranging interest in automotive tech.

Automotive cybersecurity is a major concern, fuelling investment in companies that are able to secure the next generation of vehicles, as ever more of their value comes from complex information and control systems and connected and autonomous cars become the norm.

As for the coming year, Hampleton expects the emergence of more VC-backed Autotech companies that will encourage more M&A activity from both traditional automotive companies and new automotive tech entrants to attract the early adopters and establish market and brand dominance.


Note to Editors: Hampleton Partners’ Automotive M&A Market Report 1H2018 is compiled using data and information from the 451 Research database (

Download the full Hampleton Automotive M&A Market Report here:


About Hampleton Partners

Hampleton Partners is at the forefront of international Mergers and Acquisitions advisory for companies with technology at their core. Hampleton’s experienced deal makers have built, bought and sold over 100 fast-growing tech businesses and now provide hands-on expertise and unrivalled international advice to tech entrepreneurs and the companies who are looking to accelerate growth and maximise value.

With offices in London, Frankfurt and San Francisco, Hampleton offers a global perspective with regional and sector expertise in: Automotive Tech, IoT, AI, FinTech, Hi-Tech Industrials, Cybersecurity, VR/AR, HealthTech, Digital Marketing, Enterprise Software, SaaS & Cloud, E-commerce. Download sector reports here.

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