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Harman Bought For 8 Billion Dollars By Private Equity Firm  Print E-mail
Home Theater News Industry-Trade News
Written by Jerry Del Colliano   
Thursday, 26 April 2007

Audio giant Harman announced today that they have agreed to be bought by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. L.P. and Goldman Sachs' GS Capital Partners for eight billion dollars. The deal is subject to various approvals and assuming the deal is green-lighted it would be completed in the fall of 2007.

Harman consists of many powerhouse brands in pro audio, home audio/video and automotive sound, which is their most profitable market segment. Some of these brands include JBL, Infinity, Revel, Mark Levinson and Lexicon. JBL is a dominant force in the world of pro audio making up the sound systems for many of the worlds biggest concert tours and venues alike. Revel, Mark Levinson and Lexicon are highly regarded brands in the world of high-end home theater. You will find many of the Harman brands also in the automotive business as they make premium audio systems for various carmakers, most famously the Mark Levinson audio systems that are sold in Toyota’s luxury car line Lexus.

The idea of a private equity firm buying into an audio company is a new phenomenon but is not unheard of. Recently, privately held MartinLogan loudspeakers were bought by a private equity firm. That firm kept the main structure and direction of the company in place and worked to grow its marketshare in the world of physically flat loudspeakers to compliment the driving force in the market today, flat HDTVs. It remains to be seen what changes will be made by the new owners, if any because in recent years Harman has been very profitable.

- USA Today, Wall Street Journal

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