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Samsung Electronics completes acquisition of HARMAN

Samsung acquires parent to Martin Professional – provider of lighting solutions for theatre and architectural applications – in $8b deal.

Samsung Electronics has announced the completion of the previously announced acquisition of Harman International Industries, Incorporated (HARMAN).

The automotive and consumer electronics company has been purchased by Samsung in a deal worth approximately eight billion dollars in cash.

First revealed in November, the deal follows action taken last year from HARMAN shareholders who filed a class-action fiduciary duty lawsuit against HARMAN’s CEO Dinesh Paliwal and the company’s board members, claiming that the deal was “flawed and undervalued”.

However, under the terms of this merger agreement, HARMAN stockholders will receive $112.00 per share in cash. The completion follows the satisfaction of all conditions to the closing of the transaction, including approval of the transaction by HARMAN stockholders and receipt of all necessary regulatory approvals in the United States and certain foreign jurisdictions.

Even though Samsung now owns HARMAN, the company will continue to be run as a stand alone Samsung subsidiary. It will still have its own board of directors, which will have Young Sohn, the President and Chief Strategy Officer of Samsung Electronics, as its chairman.

Furthermore, HARMEN CEO Paliwal will continue in his role, and all of the company’s workforce and facilities will be retained, along with all of its its consumer and professional audio brands.

“This is a historic moment for us. The close of this transaction opens the door to create substantial growth opportunities and deliver greater benefits for customers worldwide,” said Sohn.

“We see transformative opportunities in the car – and a future which seamlessly connects lifestyle across automotive, home, mobile and work. Samsung’s and HARMAN’s leadership in these spaces perfectly positions Samsung to be the preferred partner to our OEM customers. In addition, 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 professional end markets. And most importantly, we are enthusiastic about our common vision, the similarities in our culture of innovation, and the added value we can create for customers. We look forward to working with all of HARMAN’s employees to execute on our vision.”

“We are excited to have completed the transaction, which provides compelling cash value to our stockholders, benefits our customers and provides new opportunities for our employees,” said Paliwal. “Samsung shares our commitment to our customers and our culture of speed, innovation and execution. 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. Recognising 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. Working closely with automakers and other technology companies, Samsung and HARMAN will define – and drive – the future of automotive.”

Although Samsung’s purchase looks to increase its presence in the automotive industry, the collateral acquisition of Martin Professional could enable the South Korean multinational to further develop its IoT lighting operation.

Earlier this year, Samsung has shown commitment to IoT lighting with the launch of a smart lighting module to simplify and improve connectivity in IoT lighting applications.

With this in mind, the eight billion dollar deal could be a sign that the technology giant sees IoT as a major part of its future business strategy.

Interestingly, Mats Karlsson, who worked for Martin Professional for many years and is now managing director and partner of his own firm, Intendor AB, commented: ‘‘Samsung -$300b in sales – buys HARMAN – $8b in sales who in turn owns Martin – $200m in sales. Martin products represents 0.07% of Samsung sales. This deal is all about consumer and automotive. Samsung, by their admission, needed a short-cut to the buoyant automotive electronics market and HARMAN’s automotive division is a leading player there. The pro-AV side of HARMAN – JBL, Crown, Soundcraft, Martin, AMX, and more – is just a collateral acquisition. Time will tell if the professional brands will stay or be sold off, but I suspect Samsung is in no rush to decide on that.’’

In connection with the completion of the transaction, HARMAN’s common stock will cease trading prior to market open on 13 March 2017 and will be delisted from the New York Stock Exchange.

www.harman.com
www.samsung.com
www.martin.com

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