Lear acquires connected-car software firm

SOUTHFIELD—The Southfield auto supplier Lear Corp. (NYSE: LEA) announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Seattle-based Xevo Inc., a Bellevue, Wash.-based automotive software supplier that develops products for cloud, car, and mobile devices. The purchase price: $320 million.

Xevo’s Journeyware products combine a user-friendly interface with a cloud-based framework that allows drivers to interact with in-car content and mobile applications using real-time data. Xevo Market, an automotive commerce and services platform, connects consumers with popular food, fuel, parking, hotel, and retail brands through in-vehicle touchscreens and automaker-branded mobile applications.

“The acquisition of Xevo broadens Lear’s connectivity portfolio, bringing together Xevo’s leading e-commerce vehicle platform technology with Lear’s expertise in electronic systems,” said John Absmeier, Lear CTO. “Xevo’s user interface establishes a connected marketplace for consumers in their vehicles, unlocking previously unrealized value from vehicle data and opening up new revenue streams.”

Xevo’s technology is currently available in more than 25 million vehicles, primarily in the United States, with significant opportunity for expansion in North America, Asia, and Europe.

“Automakers have embraced the potential of Xevo’s e-commerce platform, as well as the deeply customizable driver experiences made possible by Xevo’s artificial intelligence technology,’ said Dan Gittleman, Xevo CEO. “Today, with Lear’s reach, we can scale Xevo’s innovative technology and business model to a global customer base.”

Lear will acquire all the outstanding shares of Xevo for $320 million. The transaction, which is subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions and adjustments, is expected to close by June 30. Lear intends to fund the transaction through a debt financing.

“With the acquisition of Xevo, Lear advances its leadership position in the global trends reshaping the automotive industry,” said Ray Scott, Lear CEO. “This transaction is consistent with our stated capital allocation strategy. It allows us to enhance our capabilities in software, services, and data analytics and strengthen our market position in connectivity.”

More at www.lear.com.

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