Why Ouster (OUST) And Velodyne (VLDR) Are Merging

By Amit Chowdhry ● Nov 7, 2022
  • Ouster (OUST) and Velodyne (VLDR) announced a merger. This is why.

Ouster (OUST) and Velodyne (VLDR) announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement to merge in an all-stock transaction. The proposed merger is expected to drive 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.

Strengths of the Combined Company:

1.) Operational synergies across engineering, manufacturing, and general administration support an optimized cost-structure

2.) Robust product offerings, including verticalized software, to serve a broad set of customers

3.) Complementary customer base, partners, and distribution channels, coupled with reduced production costs and an innovative roadmap, to accelerate lidar adoption across fast-growing end markets

4.) Extensive intellectual property portfolio with 173 granted and 504 pending patents, backed by over 20 years of combined experience in lidar technology innovation

5.) World-class leadership team to be led by Dr. Ted Tewksbury as Executive Chairman of the Board and Angus Pacala as Chief Executive Officer

6.) Strong financial position with a combined cash balance1 of approximately $355 million as of September 30, 2022

7.) Compared to stand-alone cost structures as of September 30, 2022, annualized operating expenditure synergies of at least $75 million expected to be realized within 9 months after transaction-close

The combined company is going to offer a robust suite of products to continue to serve a diverse set of end markets and customers while executing a product roadmap to meet the future needs of the market. And 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.

Plus management plans to streamline operating expenditures to build an overall cost structure that is in line with the projected revenue growth of the combined company. And 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.

Leadership: 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. And 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.

Transaction: The merger agreement was signed on November 4, 2022. And 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. And 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.

KEY QUOTES:

“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. Together, we will aim to deliver the performance customers demand while achieving price points low enough to promote mass adoption.”

— Ouster CEO Angus Pacala

“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. 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.”

— Velodyne CEO Dr. Ted Tewksbury