Harman: All Brands, Including AMX, Appear to Complement Samsung

Harman addresses questions about its focus on commercial spaces post acquisition by Samsung, saying it benefits the market because it can leverage Samsung’s global scale and R&D capabilities.

Samsung and Harman must be flattered.

People care a lot and have many questions following Samsung’s November 14 announcement of its agreement to acquire Harman International for $112 per share or roughly $8 billion.

The announcement of the acquisition focused mostly on the value that Samsung sees in Harman’s role in the connected car and the Internet of things.

So, for those who work in commercial and residential integration with Harman and its family of brands including automation giant AMX and AV distribution provider SVSi, many of the questions relate to the future of and plans for those brands.

Some, including sister brand CE Pro, speculated on whether or not AMX might be poised to be sold in part because it wasn’t mentioned by name in the Samsung statement.

That speculation might be a little premature, at least according to Harman Professional Solutions director of public relations David Glaubke.

First off, nothing has actually happened yet. “We didn’t announce a closing of a sale. We announced an agreement for a sale,” he says of the deal intended to close in June 2017.

“Until then, our relationship with Samsung is just that we entered this agreement.”

Samsung made it clear in its announcement and in its conference call, he adds, that Harman will operate as a standalone company until and after the closing of the deal.

In terms of “our relationship with our customers, what our customers can expect, [it’s] business as usual,” Glaubke says.

Even the AMX-specific speculation that it might not be in Samsung’s future plans for Harman seems premature to Glaubke. He refers to a slide Samsung used during its conference call detailing the agreement highlighting Samsung’s and Harman’s complementary offerings in which it mentions AMX along with Crown, JBL, Infinity and other brands.

AMX Harman Slide

That slide, Glaubke says, reflects “Samsung’s commitment to all of the divisions.”

The context of the announcement is important, according to Glaubke. “Sure, the big get for Samsung is connected car and we are the perfect partner for that, but as you look further downstream at the brands we have including AMX there are fantastic opportunities.”

In addition to providing his perspective on commercial integration market specific issues related to Samsung’s agreement to acquire Harman, Glaubke also provided a statement by Mohit Parasher, executive VP of Harman and president of Harman Professional Solutions.

The statement doesn’t necessarily address questions about AMX’s future but speaks to Harman’s continued focus on the commercial integration market:

Statement by Harman’s Parasher

“At HARMAN Professional Solutions, we bring together our market-leading brands in audio, lighting, video and control to create the best end-to-end solutions for our entertainment and enterprise customers all over the world,” said Mohit Parasher, EVP of Harman and president of Harman Professional Solutions.

“We are driven by innovation, product excellence and the constant pursuit of bringing the latest technologies to people’s experience, whether it be in hospitality, retail, corporate, education, government, cinema, broadcast or concert touring settings. So, it is with that dedication to our customers that we celebrate Samsung’s commitment to Harman.
“We see this transaction as a benefit to all stakeholders in the Professional Solutions space because we will be able to leverage Samsung’s unparalleled global scale and R&D capabilities that will enable us to accelerate our innovation,” said Parasher.

“The combination will also expand the company’s business-to-business platform through its ability to deliver integrated, large-scale audio, video, lighting, control and switching professional solutions across all the market verticals we serve. The synergy is compelling and we see a clear opportunity to develop and own a total complete end-to-end solution for our customers.”