Korea (March 16, 2017)—Samsung Electronics completed its acquisition of Harman International on Saturday, March 11; the deal was originally expected to conclude in mid-2017. First announced on November 14 last year, the purchase includes Harman’s numerous legacy pro-audio brands, including AKG, Lexicon, JBL Professional, Studer, Soundcraft and Crown.
Having passed all regulatory approvals in the U.S. and other countries, the deal found Samsung paying roughly $8 billion—a move that had Harman stockholders pocketing $112 per share.
Moving forward, Harman will operate as a standalone Samsung subsidiary, retaining its existing work force, headquarters and facilities, as well as all of its consumer and professional audio brands. Dinesh Paliwal will contine as CEO of Harman; the existing management team will remain in place; and Paliwal will serve as a member of a Board of Directors led by Young Sohn, president and chief strategy officer of Samsung Electronics.
Samsung made no secret of why it was so interested in buying Harman; the move was largely due to the latter’s presence in car audio and the emerging “connected car” technology sector. Paliwal confirmed as much in a statement, noting, “Samsung provides Harman with the scale, platform and complementary technologies to accelerate growth and extend our global market leadership in automotive, smart audio and connected technologies. Recognizing the importance of partnerships in an increasingly connected world, particularly in automotive, we are poised to leverage our combined teams and resources to produce even greater value for our customers.”
Nonetheless, Harman’s professional solutions division—which includes the pro audio brands as well as others like video switching/control device manufacturer AMX and lighting company Martin—has not been forgotten. While it made up only 14 percent of Harman’s revenues last year, the division is expected to remain a key part of the company going forward. Sohn remarked in a statement that “…Harman’s iconic audio brands and capabilities, paired with Samsung’s leading display technologies, will deliver enhanced audio and video experiences to consumers and professional end markets.”