Friday, September 21, 2007

Harman International


Yikes, what a huge mess of brandnames and strategies. No wonder Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. and the Goldman Sachs Group Inc. have decided to not move ahead with the proposed $8 billion private purchase of these guys.

Trading in Harman International shares (NYSE: HAR) was halted on the New York Stock Exchange mid Friday afternoon after the stock plunged on published reports of troubles for the acquisition. Trading then resumed later today, but the stock closed down more 24% to US$85 a share.

The company, co-founded by Sidney Harman in 1953, developed and marketed the first all-in-one home stereo receivers for the US in the 1960s. Currently the firm has more than 10,000 employees and is one of the largest suppliers of on-board video-audio entertainment systems for the automotive industry.

I must say that I am very disappointed in the overall performance of the nine-JBL speaker system in my Toyota Prius. The audio booms in the bass and screeches in the treble. It is a shame that the radio/CD system in the car is part of the dashboard or I would replace it tomorrow. Didn't live up to the performance of JBL speakers that I knew in the 80's and early 90's....otherwise the Prius is fine.
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