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Amid scandals and setbacks, Samsung completes its biggest acquisition ever

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The arrest of vice chairman Lee Jae-Yong isn't stopping Samsung from conducting business, as the company completes its acquisition of Harman.

The show must go on for Samsung. Even as its leader, Vice Chairman of the Samsung Board Lee Jae Yong is arrested on bribery and corruption charges, the South Korean giant is pressing ahead with its business. On Saturday, the company announced the completion of its Harman International Industries acquisition, its largest such deal ever. While Samsung has previously opted for smaller deals and created much of its technology in-house, its latest purchase marks a shift away from that strategy.

“Today is a historic moment for us. The close of this transaction opens the door to create substantial growth opportunities and deliver greater benefits for customers worldwide,” said Young Sohn, President and Chief Strategy Officer of Samsung Electronics, in a statement. “We see transformative opportunities in the car — and a future which seamlessly connects lifestyle across automotive, home, mobile and work.”

Sohn also noted that Harman’s “iconic audio brands and capabilities paired with Samsung’s leading display technologies will deliver enhanced audio and video experiences to consumers and professional end markets.”

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Harman quite the massive company, boasting some 30,000 employees spread out across a number of different brands including not only Harman Kardon, but also Infinity, JBL, Lexicon, and Mark Levinson. Harman will continue to conduct business as an independent subsidiary under the terms of the deal.

“We are excited to have completed the transaction, which provides compelling cash value to our stockholders, benefits our customers and provides new opportunities for our employees,” said Dinesh Paliwal, Harman President and CEO. “Samsung shares our commitment to our customers and our culture of speed, innovation and execution. Samsung provides Harman with the scale, platform and complementary technologies to accelerate growth and extend our global market leadership in automotive, smart audio and connected technologies.”

Paliwal will remain at the helm of Harman, as will his management team, and will also maintain his position on the company’s board. That said, Samsung will now become the parent company to Harman’s work force, headquarters and facilities, and all its consumer and professional audio brands.

“Recognizing the importance of partnerships in an increasingly connected world, particularly in automotive, we are poised to leverage our combined teams and resources to produce even greater value for our customers,” Paliwal concluded, “Working closely with automakers and other technology companies, Samsung and HARMAN will define — and drive — the future of automotive.”