SAMSUNG HAS ANNOUNCED plans to buy in-car entertainment firm Harman for $8bn (around £6.4bn), marking the firm's biggest acquisition to date.
The all-cash deal will give Samsung a major position in the hotly contested automotive space almost overnight, and the company was keen to tout Harman's long-standing relationship with almost all major car manufacturers.
Samsung Electronics CEO Oh-Hyun Kwon said: "As a Tier 1 automotive supplier with deep customer relationships, strong brands, leading technology and a recognised portfolio of best-in-class products, Harman immediately establishes a strong foundation for Samsung to grow our automotive platform."
Samsung elaborated on this by saying that it could work with Harman on several areas of connected car technology, covering infotainment, cyber security, over-the-air updates and telematics.
Young Sohn, president and chief strategy officer of Samsung Electronics, explained that the deal is the perfect fit for both firms.
"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,” he said.
The deal is expected to close in mid-2017, at which time Harman will continue to operate as a standalone subsidiary at Samsung and be led by current Harman CEO Dinesh Paliwal.
"Combining Samsung’s strengths in leading-edge displays, connectivity and processing solutions with Harman’s technology leadership and long-standing customer relationships will enable OEMs to provide new offerings for their customers," said Paliwal.
"Partnerships and scale are essential to winning over the long term in automotive as demand for robust connected car and autonomous driving solutions increases at a rapid pace.
"This transaction will bring Harman and Samsung’s complementary strengths together to accelerate innovation in this space."
Samsung will be keen for the deal to boost revenues in the future, especially after its usual cash cow of smartphone sales took a huge hit this year when the company had to stop sales of the Note 7 after reports of exploding handsets. µ
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