Harman Kardon SoundSticks

Galaxy maker Samsung today announced it is purchasing Harman International for $112.00 per share in cash in a deal valued at approximately $8 billion. If the deal goes through, it’ll be Samsung’s largest acquisition to date. With the purchase of Harman Samsung is essentially buying a competitive advantage as it looks to take on Apple’s rumored Project Titan and the CarPlay platform, Android Auto and other automotive systems.

The South Korean conglomerate said that Harman’s experience “designing and integrating sophisticated in-vehicle technologies, as well as its long-term relationships with most of the world’s largest automakers” will help create growth opportunities for the combined business.

Harman designs and engineers connected products for automakers and consumers, including connected car systems, audio and visual products, enterprise automation and connected services.

“The vehicle of tomorrow will be transformed by smart technology and connectivity in the same way that simple feature phones have become sophisticated smart devices over the past decade,” Young Sohn, Samsung’s president and chief strategy officer, said in a statement.

Samsung believe the acquisition will “elevate user experiences” across its complete portfolio of consumer and professional products and systems. It gives Samsung access to Harman’s management team and 8,000 software designers and engineers who will work closely with Samsung’s Automotive Electronics Business Team.

“As a Tier 1 automotive supplier with deep customer relationships, strong brands, leading technology and a recognized portfolio of best-in-class products, Harman immediately establishes a strong foundation for Samsung to grow our automotive platform,” said Oh-Hyun Kwon, Vice Chairman and CEO of Samsung Electronics.

Samsung expects the market for automotive electronics, its strategic priority, to grow to more than $100 billion by 2025. More than 30 million vehicles currently use Harman technology, with nearly two-thirds of Harman’s $7 billion of reported sales during the 12 months ended September 30 automotive-related.

Headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut, Harman maintains operations in the Americas, Europe and Asia. It has more than twenty brands under its fold, including AKG Acoustics, AMX, Crown Audio, Harman/Kardon, Infinity, JBL, JBL Professional, Lexicon, Mark Levinson, Martin, Revel, Soundcraft and Studer.

Many of these brands are expected to “greatly enhance the competitiveness” of the South Korean company’s mobile, display, virtual reality and wearable products to deliver a “fully differentiated audio and visual experience for customers”.

Photo: Harman Kardon Sound Sticks and Jony Ive-designed iSub subwoofer system.

Source: Samsung

  • Why are they thinking about buying a company when the Note 7 recalled and now their washing machines?

    • burge

      Because business doesn’t stop because of a recall.

    • jOn Garrett

      Because Samsung is a massive company that does everything from advanced weapons systems, to sky scrapers.

      Their mobile division is a drop in the bucket compared to the rest of their business.

      • Benjamin J Schwartz

        Actually, in regards to revenue and profit, Samsung’s mobile division utterly dwarfs every other division in the company. Your after year, a larger portion of their revenue and profit comes from their mobile division.

  • ravinigga

    Shit now I need to return my Harmon/Kardon!!!

    Kidding both make awesome products, I hope they keep they name.

    • bigkev943

      umm one is know for good products and the other is known for high end respected products that would be harmon not samsung. Their new owners are like walmart of electronics just pushing products not caring about every detail of perfection. This will now carry over to Harmon products guess most high end vehicles that use this will definitely convert to the other high end systems now.

      • jOn Garrett

        Shut up

  • stylesbeyond

    time to sell up all my harmon/kardon gear then

  • Sponge-slob Square-ass

    Why must they put their hands in everything?? Take a break for a minute Sammy. Address your ongoing quality issues. Then come out swinging in 2017.

    • jOn Garrett

      Quality issues? They sold 300 million phones last year, this year 35 phones had a problem with the battery.

      • Sponge-slob Square-ass

        Phones, washing machines, batteries…. nothing wrong with being a fanboy but safety first dude