Deals and IPOs

EU Approves $8 Billion Purchase of Harman by KKR


U.S. private investment firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co (KKR) won competition clearance from the European Commission on Wednesday to buy audio equipment maker Harman International Industries for some $8 billion.

Harman makes electronics systems for cars that integrate stereos, global positioning systems and DVD video systems. It also produces home audio,  as well as loudspeakers and sound systems for concert halls, stadiums and airports.

KKR, though a fund, has shared control of Avago Technologies which supplies fibre optic transceivers used for entertainment systems, leading the Commission to look into the possibility of KKR restricting Avago's supplies to Harman's competitors.

But the EU executive said in a statement that several other companies made the transceivers and KKR's control of Avago was shared with another investor, meaning it was not able to coordinate its behavior and that of Harman.

The deal also involved Goldman Sachs Group, but the U.S. investment bank was not mentioned by the European Union's executive arm as part of the competition review.

Harman has been benefiting from a move by automakers to combine multiple in-car entertainment systems in one technology network, analysts said.