Automotive chipmaker Valens enters NYSE after completing $1.1 billion SPAC merger

The transaction between the Hod Hasharon-headquartered company and PTK Acquisition Corp. ultimately generated approximately $155 million of gross proceeds, well short of the expected $240 million

CTech 15:5330.09.21
Israel-based automotive chip company Valens Semiconductor began trading on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on Thursday after completing its merger with PTK Acquisition Corp., a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC). The combined company will be called Valens and is being traded on the NYSE under the symbol “VLN”.


The post-transaction company is set to have an equity value of approximately $1.1 billion, with the transaction ultimately generating approximately $155 million of gross proceeds from the cash held in trust after PTK stockholder redemptions and the private investment in public equity (PIPE) by leading institutional and strategic investors.


Valens CEO Gideon Ben-Zvi. Photo: Doron Letzter Valens CEO Gideon Ben-Zvi. Photo: Doron Letzter


The companies had initially expected that the transaction would deliver approximately $240 million of gross proceeds, but significant redemptions ended any such hope.


Based in Hod Hasharon in central Israel, Valens was founded in 2006 and manufactures semiconductor products for the delivery of uncompressed HD multimedia content for the automotive, industrial, and consumer electronics markets. The company has raised $167 million to date from investors including Goldman Sachs, Samsung, and Oppenheimer Asset Management. Valens currently employs a team of 300 people in Israel, the U.S., Germany, Japan, South Korea, China, and Taiwan.


"Valens' chipsets are already embedded in Daimler Mercedes-Benz vehicles, and our technology was selected as the baseline for the new automotive standard for high-speed in-vehicle connectivity," said Gideon Ben-Zvi, CEO of Valens. "Becoming a public company provides us with new sources of capital to accelerate our growth and advance our position as a leading global provider of semiconductors for high-speed connectivity solutions for the automotive, audio-video, and other adjacent markets."


Valens was divided into two main divisions in 2015, Valens Automotive and Valens Audio-Video, which is focused on solutions for the rest of the sectors. The company announced last year that it has partnered with Aptiv to develop its Smart Vehicle Architecture (SVA) platform, which reduces the number of connections and individual devices within vehicles with a centralized, shared architecture, leading to increased flexibility and redundancy and reducing total system costs.


Valens Automotive has worked with many of the industry's leading players, including DENSO, Mitsubishi Electric, Qualcomm Technologies (a subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated), STMicroelectronics, Brose, Western Digital, Tektronix, TSN, and NVIDIA.


Valens founder Dror Jerushalmi announced last February in an email to employees that he is stepping down from his role as CEO, which he held since the company’s founding, due to personal reasons effective immediately. Venture capitalist Gideon Ben Zvi, who was a member of Valens’ board, was selected to succeed Jerushalmi. Last April, the company announced the appointment of Peter Mertens, the former head of research and development at Swedish automotive company Volvo Group and former technical development chief at German automaker Audi AG, as chairman.