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Samsung completes its acquisition of Harman

Mar 13,2017
Samsung Electronics said Saturday it has completed its acquisition of Harman International Industries, a U.S. audio and automotive component supplier.

The announcement came three weeks after shareholders of the American company approved the $8 billion merger initially announced last November. It is Samsung’s biggest acquisition overseas.

“Today is a historic moment for us,” said Young Sohn, president and chief strategy officer of Samsung Electronics and chairman of the board, in a statement. “The close of this transaction opens the door to create substantial growth opportunities and deliver greater benefits for customers worldwide.”

Sohn went on to say that Samsung sees transformative opportunities in the car industry and a future in which lifestyles are seamlessly connected across automobiles, home and work.

“Bringing together Harman’s iconic audio brands and capabilities paired with Samsung’s leading display technologies will deliver enhanced audio and video experiences to consumers and professionals,” Sohn said.

Harman, whose audio brands include Harman Kardon, JBL, Martin and the automotive division of Bang & Olufsen, will operate as a standalone Samsung subsidiary. It will be overseen by a board of directors led by Sohn. Dinesh Paliwal, president and CEO of Harman, will retain his posts and will continue to serve as a member of its board.

“Samsung shares our commitment to our customers and our culture of speed, innovation and execution,” said Paliwal. “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.”

He noted that Samsung and Harman will define and drive the “future of automotive” as they work closely with automakers and other technology companies.

Samsung, a latecomer to the automotive component industry, is expected to gain momentum in narrowing the technological gap with more advanced peers and get a foothold in the smart car market with Harman.

The tech behemoth is betting on smart cars as a growth driver to take over from smartphones, which are being challenged by cheaper Chinese producers.

Harman’s common stock will cease trading prior to the market’s opening today and will be delisted from the New York Stock Exchange. Samsung is retaining Harman’s workforce, headquarters and facilities as well as all of its consumer and professional audio brands.

BY SEO JI-EUN [seo.jieun@joongang.co.kr]