AAC Technologies’ Investment in Ibeo Automotive Systems GmbH
(June 17, 2021 – Hong Kong) AAC Technologies Holdings Inc. (“AAC”, HKEx: 2018), a world-leading miniaturized technology solutions provider, announced the completion of equity investment into Ibeo Automotive Systems GmbH (“Ibeo”) (the “Transaction”). Concurrently, AAC has entered into a strategic partnership with Ibeo in order to integrate AAC’s expertise in optics and imaging into the development of Ibeo’s future generation of products. The collaboration will further support Ibeo’s manufacturing capacity and strengthen its supply chain platforms. After completion of the Transaction, AAC will become a strategic shareholder of Ibeo, alongside ZF Friedrichshafen AG and Ibeo’s founders.
Ibeo is a technology leader for LiDAR (acronym for Light Detection and Ranging) systems. Its new ibeoNEXT Generic Solid State LiDAR combines true solid-state technology – the next generation of LiDAR systems – with competitive pricing, a key requirement in the automotive industry. In 2020, Ibeo was the first LiDAR company worldwide to receive a nomination from an automotive OEM (Great Wall Motors) for the serial production of a solid-state LiDAR. The combination of leading proven technology, industrialization competency and competitive pricing helps to position Ibeo as one of the key suppliers in the fast-growing autonomous driving market. Besides addressing the automotive market, Ibeo signed a cooperation agreement for volume orders with SICK, a market leader in optical sensors for industrial applications, in 2021 to address the industrial market.
The Transaction brings together the leading LiDAR player, the leading Tier-1 automotive supplier and the leading provider of miniaturized solutions for smart devices, and further accelerates Ibeo’s path to commercialization for automotive customers not only in Asia but also globally. The partnership further enhances Ibeo’s competitive positioning and offers an opportunity for integration of AAC’s cutting-edge technologies, including its proprietary Wafer-Level Glass (“WLG”) technology as well as access to AAC’s high-precision manufacturing platform to support Ibeo’s future product development and strategy. The newly formed partnership will also allow Ibeo and AAC to explore opportunities in other verticals, such as consumer electronics, where AAC has a long-standing leadership position.
The Transaction is in line with AAC’s long-term strategic initiative of expanding into the automotive industry besides strengthening its dominant market position within the smartphone industry, represents a key milestone for AAC’s corporate development, and allows AAC to bring differentiated user experience to a broader consumer base.
“We are delighted to have the opportunity to become a strategic partner of Ibeo and committed to supporting and accelerating its continued growth as a new shareholder. Ibeo is undoubtedly a leader in the field of LiDAR and perception technologies with a solid and innovative product portfolio. The ibeoNEXT is ready to address the future of ADAS and offer competitive performance to a wide range of mobility customers,” says Kelvin Pan, Executive Vice President and Chief Innovation Officer of AAC.
“We welcome AAC as a strategic partner willing to strongly support our common LiDAR activities for automotive as well as industrial and consumer electronics applications,” says Christophe Marnat, EVP of ZF’s Electronics and Advanced Driver Assist Systems division.
“The strategic partnership with AAC is the next great milestone for Ibeo after signing the world’s first serial contract for automotive solid-state LiDARs in 2020. It will enable us to further strengthen our technology leadership and bring us closer to our goal of becoming a Top-3 automotive LiDAR supplier. This close cooperation with AAC, combined with continued support from ZF as our industrialization partner, will open doors to new and enriching opportunities for all parties involved,” says Dr. Ulrich Lages, CEO of Ibeo.