Vodafone announced its intentions today (16 June 2014) to acquire Cobra Automotive Technologies. Cobra is a provider of security and telematics solutions to the automotive and insurance industries.
The group provides vehicle manufacturers, dealerships and after-market customers with a range of products and services, including telematics, usage-based insurance, and vehicle tracking.
Headquartered in Italy and listed on the Milan stock exchange the company has a global presence, which includes operations in Brazil, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland and the UK.
Vodafone intends to acquire Cobra through a voluntary tender offer at €1.49 per share in cash, valuing the entire fully diluted ordinary share capital of Cobra at €145 million (£115 million)1. Cobra had a reported net debt of €48 million as at 31 March 2014.
Vodafone has entered into an agreement with the main shareholders of Cobra, who, together, hold 73.96% of the share capital of Cobra, on a fully diluted basis, to effect certain matters including agreeing to tender their shares into the Offer. The Offer is expected to be launched in the coming weeks and will be made subject to the relevant provisions of Italian law.
Vodafone has also entered into an agreement with certain minority shareholders of Cobra’s Telematics subsidiary to acquire their 20% shareholding for a consideration of €20 million, conditional on completion of the Offer.
The acquisition of Cobra is in line with Vodafone’s strategy to expand its machine-to-machine (M2M) capability beyond connectivity. Cobra’s telematics products and expertise will enable Vodafone to provide a more comprehensive range of end-to-end services to automotive customers.
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.”
The Offer is conditional on, amongst other things, obtaining appropriate anti-trust approvals and is expected to complete in the third quarter of 2014.