Samsung buying Harman? Not so fast, says a group of the latter’s shareholders
Samsung’s plans to jolt “growth in automotive and connected technologies” by closing an $8 billion deal to acquire premium audio system manufacturer Harman International Industries as early as mid-2017 might be sidetracked by the Connecticut-based company’s own shareholders.
While the tentatively agreed upon purchase sum is by far the highest price Samsung’s ever considered paying for a takeover, according to public records and speculation, a group of Harman investors feel CEO Dinesh Paliwal could have squeezed even more cash out of the world’s largest smartphone vendor.
The “flawed and undervalued” arrangement will be under scrutiny in a class action lawsuit filed in Delaware’s equity Court of Chancery, as said disgruntled stockholders hope to temporarily block Harman’s sale, no doubt eyeing a renegotiation of financial terms, as well as possible offers from other interested buyers.
Over 50 percent of the connected car sound specialist’s shareholders need to approve the Samsung deal for it to go through, and it remains to be seen just how many of those believe the company is worth a hefty premium over a current market capitalization of around $7.7 billion.
In the meantime, we wouldn’t rule out the Galaxy S8’s rumored stereo speakers still being powered by Harman, since that sort of partnership doesn’t necessarily require a parent – daughter company relationship.