The name Harman Kardon should be familiar to audiophiles but not everyone knows they (Harman International Industries) are the parent company for other popular audio brands like JBL and AKG Acoustics. Fewer people even know they are into the design and manufacturing of connected products for automobiles.
The American company has however been acquired by Korean electronics giant, Samsung, in a move for Samsung to accelerate it’s growth in automotive and connected technologies.
Harman’s technology which includes telematics, infotainment, connected safety and security is currently in use in more than 30 million vehicles. Even a large chunk of their $7 billion 2016 fiscal year earnings which ended in September is automotive related. Samsung wants to be at the forefront of the technology used in smart cars when it goes mainstream as they believe the same revolution that happened to phones will happen to cars too.
The acquisition will see both parties benefit greatly from each other. Samsung will have access to long term automobile partners of Harman, and Harman will in turn gain access to Samsung’s experience in displays, semi-conductors, and user experience. We may also see future Samsung mobile devices have better audio performance. How soon the latter will happen is unknown but I won’t rule out the Samsung S8 being the first device to feature enhanced audio or possibly shipping the phone with JBL earphones like the ZTE Axon Pro.
Samsung will acquire the company for $112 per share or a total equity value of $8 billion which will be paid in cash. When the deal is closed, Samsung says Harman will continue to operate as a standalone company with no changes in management. It will also retain its work force, facilities and all its other sub-brands.
Source: Samsung News