Samsung Electronics Co. is seeking to acquire French audio equipment maker Focal as part of its efforts to strengthen its automotive electronics business which is considered a new growth engine of the firm.
According to business and investment banking industry sources on October 24, Samsung Electronics is now in final talks to take over French audio equipment maker Focal. Focal has become known to public after Samsung Group Chairman Lee Kun-hee, who is an audio lover, installed the Grand Utopia, the high end speaker of Focal priced at 240 million won (US$211,827). An official from Samsung Electronics said, “We tried to acquire Bang & Olufsen, a Denmark-based high-end audio equipment manufacturer. However, the plan was killed off as its price was higher than expected. Then, we found the French company immediately.”
He also said, “The price will be around 200 billion to 300 billion won (US$176.52 million to 264.78 million). The talks between the two companies are in the final stages. Our employees are now negotiating on details in France.”
Samsung Electronics hopes to complete the acquisition by the end of this year. The official added, “The company plans to get its automotive electronics business on the track as soon as possible. It emphasizes on aggressive M&As in future businesses, such as automotive electronics, the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence.
Meanwhile, Samsung Electronics is also in talks to purchase an automotive parts supplier Magneti Marelli from Italy’s Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), but it is having difficulties to reach an agreement. Sources say that this is because the large M&A is not an urgent matter at the moment when the company is focusing on dealing with the Galaxy Note 7 issue, and the FCA wants to sell its subsidiary at the price more than 1 trillion won (US$882.61 million) higher than Samsung expected.