Magna offers $4. 6 B to buy rival carmaker

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Magna International Inc. has offered to buy automotive technology company Veoneer Inc. for $4.6 billion, muscling in on a rival bid from Qualcomm Inc.

Veoneer announced last month it would acquire Magna, bringing $31.25 a share, or $3.8 billion, in a deal the companies said was unanimously approved by their boards. Magna is more than Qualcomm's bid of $37 a share, 18% higher than the Qualcomm offer, wouldn't require Qualcomm stockholder approval and would be paid in cash, the San Diego-based chipmaker said on Thursday in a statement.

In a letter to Veoneer's board of directors, Qualcomm chief executive officer Cristiano Amon told Veoneer that his company had long admired his company. "We believe that together we are uniquely positioned to develop competition and accelerate choice for the automotive ecosystem, wrote Amon.

Semi-autonomous features like hands-free driving and crash-avoidance technology have become hotly contested battlegrounds as automakers seek to boost prices, best rivals with options that command a premium and give drivers up top-end bragging rights. In response, global automotive suppliers are increasingly positioning themselves to benefit from the growth in advanced safety features in passenger vehicles.

Magna declined to comment. Veoneer wasn't immediately available for comment.