12 April 2022
We advised Five, Europe's leading start-up for self-driving cars, on its sale to Bosch, one of the world's biggest mobility providers. The two companies share a common vision of automated driving and safe automated driving systems.
Since it was set up in 2016, Five has built a team of experts in cloud software, safety assurance, robotics and machine learning, and has placed itself at the forefront of developing state-of-the-art software and artificial intelligence-based solutions for autonomous driving, through SAE Level 4.
Five is to be part of the Bosch Cross-Domain Computing Solutions division and will strengthen the company’s agile project structure for the development of self-driving cars. The two teams’ software engineering environments complement each other and will be merged to form a single solution.
For Bosch, the acquisition is a further step toward consolidating its market position in software and automated driving. Only recently, the company extended its portfolio by acquiring Atlatec GmbH, a specialist in the field of high-resolution digital maps. This means Bosch will be the only company that can offer its customers all the necessary building blocks of automated driving from a single source – from actuators, sensors, and maps to software and the engineering environment.
The acquisition is still subject to approval by the antitrust authorities.
Commenting on the transaction, corporate partner Siobhán Langwade said: "We are thrilled to have supported Five at this pivotal point as it becomes part of Bosch, accelerating its software development and strengthening its ability to make safe self-driving cars a reality."
Corporate partner Philip Shepherd added: "We’re delighted for Stan, Claire, Laura and all of the Five team on achieving this milestone. We look forward to seeing what the combined organisation can achieve in this very exciting sector in the future.
Stan Boland, the CEO of Five, commented: "Bosch is a global leader in driving assistance technologies, with core technologies and vast data lakes that will be essential in bringing safe self-driving systems to market. We’re excited for Five to become part of Europe’s most powerful SAE Level 4 player and to be a part of Bosch’s future success. We are grateful to the fantastic Taylor Wessing team for the creative and commercial advice they provided which enabled us to achieve this excellent result."
The transaction was led by partners Siobhán Langwade and Philip Shepherd with support from associates Loye Oyedotun and Emily Thomas in the corporate team.
Additional support was provided Lerika Le Grange, Katie Horbury, Christian Wiltshire and Lucy Moore (banking & finance), Chris Jeffery (commercial tech & data), Nick Storrs and Nick Maday (disputes & investigations), Paul Callaghan, Anna Taylor, Charlie Pring, Joe Aiston, Georgina Wardrop and James Watkins (employment), Adrian Toutoungi, Sumer Dayal and Katerina Pribanova (IP), Emma Oakley, Rhys Bufton and Amie Corry (real estate) and Ann Casey, Graham Samuel-Gibbon, Joe Fallon and Marianna Vlas (tax & incentives).