Samsung is now making a bid for the future of automotive technology and the audio industry. The company announced this morning that it is buying the U.S. audio company Harman in a deal worth $8 billion.
The all-cash deal would become Samsung's biggest acquisition to date and this will put the company in a good position to expand into the growing automotive technology market.
Harman owns a family of brands, which includes popular names in audio such as AKG, Harman Kardon, Lexicon and JBL. The company also provides infotainment systems to cars made by BMW, Toyota and Volkswagen and recently made deals with Fiat Chrysler and General Motors.
"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 Samsung CEO Oh-Hyun Kwon in a statement. "HARMAN’s sustained track record of rapid growth fueled by technology leadership and an unmatched automotive order pipeline reflects its commitment to innovation and customers."
Samsung's foray into car technology will put it in direct competition with other tech giants like Apple and Google who are likewise developing their respective software platforms for connected cars.
"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," stated Young Sohn, Samsung Electronics President and Chief Strategy Officer. "We see substantial long-term growth opportunities in the auto technology market as demand for Samsung’s specialized electronic components and solutions continues to grow."
Aside from the automotive and audio industries, Samsung is expected to deliver customer benefits and growth opportunities in other key areas including audio and visual professional solutions and connected services through the Internet-Of-Things (IoT) market.
The Samsung-Harman deal is still subject to regulatory approvals but is expected to close in the middle of 2017.
To read Samsung's official press release regarding the Harman acquisition, visit this page.
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