STAMFORD, Conn. -- Harman International Industries, Incorporated (NYSE:HAR), the leading global infotainment, audio and enterprise automation group, today announced it has signed an agreement to acquire Bang & Olufsen Automotive car audio business. Bang & Olufsen sound systems are available in a wide range of Audi, Aston Martin, BMW and Mercedes-Benz car models.
“HARMAN has earned its leadership position in car audio by designing and engineering the most technologically sophisticated sound systems in the world and building the strongest portfolio of brands that help our customers distinguish their own unique brand propositions,” said Dinesh C. Paliwal, HARMAN Chairman, President and CEO. “Bang & Olufsen is a distinctive brand that will complement our existing premium branded offerings and strengthen HARMAN’s position in this segment. While Bang & Olufsen branded solutions will continue at the top of the high-end luxury segment, we will rapidly grow B&O PLAY branded solutions in the larger mass luxury market.
“From the marketing, scale and technologies HARMAN will bring to the business, we will strengthen and grow the Bang & Olufsen and B&O PLAY automotive audio brands and, importantly, further improve profitability, which is now in line with our existing car audio business,” added Paliwal. “We are excited to realize the many synergies and opportunities inherent in this new relationship.”
Terms of the agreement include a purchase price of 145,000,000 Euros for the Bang & Olufsen Automotive audio business, as well as license payments for an exclusive license to the Bang & Olufsen and B&O PLAY brands within the automotive industry. HARMAN will assume all Bang & Olufsen Automotive customer programs, and all Bang & Olufsen Automotive development and production resources will be transferred to HARMAN. The agreement remains subject to certain customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals.
“In just 10 years, we have built Bang & Olufsen Automotive based on Bang & Olufsen’s exclusive brand and unique capabilities within acoustics, design and craftsmanship. HARMAN’s position as the market leader in car audio and infotainment solutions combined with the strengths of the Bang & Olufsen brands will create significant benefits for automotive customers, as well as for both companies,” said Tue Mantoni, Bang & Olufsen President and CEO. “We are proud of how we have built the Bang & Olufsen brand in the automotive sector and excited about its future within the HARMAN family.”
Bang & Olufsen Automotive offers its partners car audio systems with superlative sound quality and listening pleasure for drivers and passengers. In addition to the company’s signature design excellence, its systems incorporate the radical synthesis of emotional appeal and technological performance that has long been the hallmark of Bang & Olufsen. Most recently, Bang & Olufsen announced that its surround sound system is featured in the new Audi R8. Now together with HARMAN, the Bang & Olufsen and B&O PLAY brands will ramp up innovation and refinement for premium automotive audio.
HARMAN brands are in more than 25 million cars, and now the Bang & Olufsen and the B&O PLAY brands will join HARMAN’s portfolio of car audio brands, including Bowers & Wilkins®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon®, Mark Levinson® and Revel®.
About Bang & Olufsen
Bang & Olufsen (ww.bang-olufsen.com) was founded in Struer, Denmark, in 1925 by Peter Bang and Svend Olufsen, two innovative, young engineers devoted to high quality audio reproduction. Since then, the brand has become an icon of performance and design excellence through its long-standing craftsmanship tradition and the strongest possible commitment to high-tech research and development. Still at the forefront of domestic technology, Bang & Olufsen has extended its comprehensive experience with integrated audio and video solutions for the home to other areas such as the hospitality and automotive industries in recent years. Consequently, its current product range epitomizes seamless media experiences in the home as well as in the car and on the move.
HARMAN (www.harman.com) designs, manufactures and markets premier audio, visual, infotainment and enterprise automation solutions for the automotive, consumer and professional markets. With leading brands including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon® , Mark Levinson ® and Revel®, the Company is admired by audiophiles, musicians and the entertainment venues where they perform. More than 25 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and infotainment systems. HARMAN has a workforce of approximately 17,600 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $5.9 billion during the last 12 months ended December 31, 2014.