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Business

Samsung acquires auto systems maker Harman

Electronics giant Samsung has announced it's buying US auto tech company Harman. The move is intended to speed up the South Koreans' entry into the growing market for technology needed for connected cars.

Samsung Electronics said Monday it was buying US auto parts maker Harman International Industries for $8 billion (7.4 billion euros).

The company added it had approved the all-cash acquisition of the Connecticut-based, Dinesh Paliwal-headed firm for $112 per share (Paliwal pictured above). It's the largest deal by Samsung in terms of value and would give the company a significant presence in the global market for online-connected auto parts.

"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," Samsung Chairman Kwon Oh-Hyun said in a statement.

Looking for lucrative market segments

Harman produces high-end audio systems and other internet-enabled entertainment features for global carmakers including General Motors and Fiat Chrysler.

More than 30 million cars are currently equipped with its systems. The majority of Harman's annual $7 billion sales during the fiscal year ending September 30 came from auto-related technologies.

Overseas acquisitions have been high on Samsung's agenda for some time. Last month, the company bought artificial intelligence firm Viv Labs, founded by creators of Apple's Siri digital assistant. It's also swallowed a cloud service company, a mobile payments firm and a connected home startup.

hg/sgb (dpa, AFP, AP)

 

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