Velodyne and Ouster Propose Merger in Bid to Accelerate Lidar Adoption
Ouster and Velodyne have announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement to merge in an all-stock transaction. The proposed merger is expected to drive significant value creation and result in a strong financial position through robust product offerings, increased operational efficiencies, and a complementary customer base in fast-growing end markets.
“Ouster’s cutting-edge digital lidar technology, evidenced by strong unit economics and the performance gains of our new products, complemented by Velodyne’s decades of innovation, high-performance hardware and software solutions, and established global customer footprint, positions the combined company to accelerate the adoption of lidar technology across fast-growing markets with a diverse set of customer needs,” said Ouster CEO Angus Pacala. “Together, we will aim to deliver the performance customers demand while achieving price points low enough to promote mass adoption.”
“Lidar is a valuable enabling technology for autonomy, with the ability to dramatically improve the efficiency, productivity, safety, and sustainability of a world in motion. We aim to create a vibrant and healthy lidar industry by offering both affordable, high-performance sensors to drive mass adoption across a wide variety of customer applications, and by creating scale to drive profitable and sustainable revenue growth,” said Velodyne CEO Dr. Ted Tewksbury. “The combination of Ouster and Velodyne is expected to unlock enormous synergies, creating a company with the scale and resources to deliver stronger solutions for customers and society, while accelerating time to profitability and enhancing value for shareholders.”
The combined company will offer a robust suite of products to continue to serve a diverse set of end-markets and customers while executing on an innovative product roadmap to meet the future needs of the market. A unified engineering team, compelling product roadmap, and focused customer success team will aim to provide best-in-class support to customers to deliver affordable and more performant sensors. Further, management plans to streamline operational expenditures to build an overall cost structure that is in line with the projected revenue growth of the combined company. Ouster and Velodyne had a combined cash balance of approximately $355 million as of September 30, 2022, and aim to realize annualized cost savings of at least $75 million within 9 months after closing the proposed merger. With an expanded global commercial footprint and distribution network, the combined company expects to deliver increased volumes, reduce product costs, and drive sustainable growth.
The combined company will be led by Angus Pacala, who will serve as Chief Executive Officer, and Dr. Ted Tewksbury, who will serve as Executive Chairman of the Board. The Board will be comprised of eight members, with each company appointing an equal number of members. The full Board and executive team will be announced at a later date.
The merger agreement was signed on November 4, 2022. Under the terms of the agreement, each Velodyne share will be exchanged for 0.8204 shares of Ouster at closing. The transaction will result in existing Velodyne and Ouster shareholders each owning approximately 50% of the combined company, based on current shares outstanding.
The merger transactions are subject to customary closing conditions including shareholder approval by both companies. Both companies will continue to operate their businesses independently until the close of the merger transactions. The merger transactions are expected to be completed in the first half of 2023.
Barclays is serving as financial advisor and Latham & Watkins LLP is serving as legal advisor to Ouster. BofA Securities, Inc. is serving as financial advisor and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP is serving as legal advisor to Velodyne.
Ouster and Velodyne will each file the full text of the merger agreement with the Securities and Exchange Commission with a Form 8-K within four business days of the date of this release. Investors and security holders of each company are advised to review these filings for the full terms of the proposed combination, as well as any future filings made by the companies, including the Form S-4 Registration Statement to be filed by Ouster and related Joint Proxy Statement/Prospectus included therein. See below under “Additional Information and Where to Find It”.