Harman to acquire Bang & Olufsen’s automotive audio business

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Infotainment, audio and enterprise automation group Harman International Industries has announced that it has signed an agreement to acquire Bang & Olufsen Automotive car audio business.

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Bang & Olufsen sound systems are available in a range of Audi, Aston Martin, BMW and Mercedes-Benz car models.

Harman chairman, president and CEO Dinesh C. Paliwal commented: “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. 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,” he added. “We’re excited to realize the many synergies and opportunities inherent in this new relationship.”

Terms of the agreement include a purchase price of 145 million 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 company adds. The agreement remains subject to certain customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals.

Bang & Olufsen president and CEO Tue Mantoni commented: “In just 10 years, we’ve 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. We’re proud of how we have built the Bang & Olufsen brand in the automotive sector and excited about its future within the Harman family.”

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