Samsung to buy Harman for $8bn

dinesh paliwal, CEO Harman

Samsung and Harman have entered into a definitive agreement under which Samsung will buy Harman for $8 billion ($112 per share) in cash. After the deal is closed (in mid-2017), Harman will operate as a standalone Samsung subsidiary, and continue to be led by Dinesh Paliwal and Harman’s current management team.

The transaction will immediately give Samsung a significant presence in the large and rapidly growing market for connected technologies, particularly automotive electronics, which has been a strategic priority for Samsung, and is expected to grow to more than $100 billion by 2025 .

An official statement released by Samsung read as follows: 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 create significant growth opportunities for the combined business by enabling it to leverage Samsung’s expertise in connected mobility, semiconductors, user experience, displays and its global distribution channels. In addition, the combination of Harman’s brands and audio capabilities and Samsung’s expertise in consumer electronics will deliver enhanced customer benefits and elevate user experiences across Samsung’s complete portfolio of consumer and professional products and systems.

"Harman perfectly complements Samsung in terms of technologies, products and solutions, and joining forces is a natural extension of the automotive strategy we have been pursuing for some time," said Oh-Hyun Kwon, Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Samsung Electronics.  "As a Tier 1 automotive supplier with deep customer relationships, strong brands, leading technology and a recognised portfolio of best-in-class products, Harman immediately establishes a strong foundation for Samsung to grow our automotive platform."

"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," added Young Sohn, President and Chief Strategy Officer of Samsung Electronics. “We see substantial long-term growth opportunities in the auto technology market as demand for Samsung’s specialised electronic components and solutions continues to grow.  Working together, we are confident that HARMAN can become a new kind of Tier 1 provider to the OEMs by delivering end-to-end solutions across the connected ecosystem."

Dinesh Paliwal, Harman Chairman, President and CEO, stated, "This compelling all-cash transaction will deliver significant and immediate value to our shareholders and provide new opportunities for our employees as part of a larger, more diversified company.  Samsung is an ideal partner for Harman and this transaction will provide tremendous benefits to our automotive customers and consumers around the world.  Combining Samsung’s strengths in leading-edge displays, connectivity and processing solutions with Harman’s technology leadership and long-standing customer relationships will enable OEMs to provide new offerings for their customers.”

The transaction, which is subject to approval by Harman shareholders, regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions, is expected to close in mid-2017.