Samsung is ready to pay $8 billion for Harman’s automotive and premium audio expertise
It’s somewhat ironic, but instead of waiting to see how a far-reaching current mobile industry stagnation plays out and maybe cut expenses in the face of underwhelming financial reports of late, several tech veterans and market leaders continue to branch out and splash the cash on mergers and acquisitions.
Wireless service provider extraordinaire Verizon is still keen to spend as much as $4.8 billion on oft-loathed Yahoo to build an unstoppable digital media beast, smartphone processor-making specialist Qualcomm will become an IoT force to be reckoned with once its $47B NXP purchase closes, and perhaps most surprising of all, Samsung is now annexing Harman.
Now, as in mere months after the unprecedented Galaxy Note 7 scandal erupted, costing the world’s largest smartphone vendor billions in direct and indirect short-term losses, plus billions more down the road.
Granted, this $8 billion deal is only expected to be sealed sometime in “mid-2017”, if Harman shareholders and regulatory approvals give it the green light, which should be just a formality. There will obviously be no opposition from investors, considering the 28 percent premium Samsung has agreed to cough up based on the 1980-founded American company’s November 11 closing stock price.
It goes without saying HTC will never get to release another Harman Kardon Edition handheld, though Samsung doesn’t just want to “greatly enhance the competitiveness of its mobile, display, virtual reality and wearable products to deliver a fully differentiated audio experience for customers.”
First and foremost, Harman’s value lies in the automotive industry, with “more than 30 million vehicles currently equipped with its connected car and audio systems, including embedded infotainment, telematics, connected safety and security.” So, yeah, Samsung is finally going after Google’s Android Auto and Apple CarPlay in the “smart car” arena.