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Harman approves Samsung merger

Harman International's shareholders have voted overwhelmingly to approve the company's merger with Samsung Electronics.

Published onFebruary 18, 2017

Despite the calamities surrounding Samsung’s heir apparent Lee Jae-Yong right now, the shareholders of Harman International have voted to approve the company’s merger with Samsung Electronics.

There were fears that Lee’s arrest on Thursday would derail the merger vote yesterday, but it doesn’t seem to have affected the vote, with those in favor winning by a ratio of 22:1 with a little over 70 percent of shareholders represented. Once completed, the merger will represent the largest overseas deal ever negotiated by a Korean company.

What impact will the Samsung chief's arrest have on the company?

A regulatory filing at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission confirms that Samsung will acquire Harman in spite of a class action law suit filed last month by some shareholders who claimed that Harman failed to “shop around” for a better price. Samsung will pay approximately $8 billion for Harman International.

The merger is still dependent on regulatory approval in the U.S., China, Korea and the EU, but if all goes ahead, Samsung wants the deal wrapped up by no later than the third quarter of 2017. Samsung has already confirmed that Harman audio products will not appear in its Galaxy line of smartphones until 2018, but the buyout was primarily motivated by Harman’s automotive expertise.

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