South Korean media report that despite the arrest of its leader, Vice Chairman of
the Samsung board Lee Jae Yong, on bribery and corruption charges, and despite a
lawsuit brought by disgruntled HARMAN shareholders. the South Korean giant is
pressing ahead with its business, announcing at the weekend the completion of its
HARMAN International Industries acquisition, its largest acquisition deal ever.

“Today 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 Young Sohn, President and Chief Strategy Officer of Samsung
Electronics, in a statement. “We see transformative opportunities in the car — and a
future which seamlessly connects lifestyle across automotive, home, mobile and

Sohn also noted that 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.’

While connected automotive technology has been the focus of the acquisition,
HARMAN boasts a number of high-end pro-AV brands, especially audio, such as
HARMAN Kardon, JBL, Crown and others. The company will continue to conduct
business as an independent subsidiary under the terms of the deal, but it is not
entirely clear how this pro-AV portfolio fits with the strategy of the acquisition.

“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 Dinesh Paliwal, HARMAN President and CEO. “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.’

Paliwal will remain at the helm of HARMAN, as will his management team, and will
also maintain his position on the company’s board. That said, Samsung will now
become the parent company to HARMAN’s work force, headquarters and facilities,
and all its consumer and professional audio brands.