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Harman Consumer To Be Managed By Harman Not Samsung

Senior Samsung Australia management have denied claims made at CES that the operations of Harman International will be rolled into Samsung operations globally.

Philip Newton, Corporate Vice President & CMO of Samsung Electronics Australia told ChannelNews late this afternoon that claims made in our story yesterday which were based on conversations with Samsung USA and Corporate executives “were wrong”.

“Samsung has great respect for Harman, its employees and distribution partners. We intend to retain its workforce, HQ, facilities and all of its brands. In addition, upon completion of the acquisition, Harman will operate as a standalone subsidiary of Samsung with the current management team in place” Newton said.

He said that Harman will retain decision making regarding its distribution channel.”

Yesterday we reported Samsung is set to take over distribution of Harman consumer audio products worldwide, according to senior Company sources at CES 2017.

The Harman brands include KG Acoustics, AMX, Crown Audio, Harman/Kardon, Infinity, JBL, JBL Professional, Lexicon, Mark Levinson, Martin, Revel, Soundcraft and Studer brands.

Several of these brands were displayed on the Samsung stand at CES 2017, in particular the Mark Levinson brand that is currently distributed by Advanced Audio.

In Australia, all the premium brands are expected to be distributed by Convoy who currently distribute the JBL and Harman Kardon, premium sound range.

Last year Harman moved to set up a local subsidiary in Australia after parting Company with NSW distributor Convoy.

Last November, Samsung Electronics announced it would acquire US-based automotive and audio system maker Harman International for $8 billion. Initially Samsung said that they intend to tap into Harman’s automotive business and incorporate its high-end audio solutions in future products.

Last week Harman shareholders filed a class action lawsuit against the company’s CEO and board, in a bid to deter the finalisation of the deal. According to the shareholders, Harman International’s value has been greatly depreciated, thus resulting in an inadequate and flawed merger deal.

The lawsuit alleges that Harman CEO Dinesh Paliwal and the board of the company did not act in good faith in striking the deal with Samsung.

The shareholders will try to exercise their right to vote against the merger in a bid to stop the finalization of the $8 billion deal no later than November of this year.

If the deal falls through and relations between the two companies go sour, we may never see a Samsung flagship smartphone with Harman’s high-end audio tech built-in.

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