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Harman set to buy B&O automotive business for €145 million

The deal is worth an estimated €145 million, plus additional payments for an exclusive license for Harman to use the Bang & Olufsen and B&O Play brands within the automotive industry.

According to a statement from Harman, the group will "assume all Bang & Olufsen Automotive customer programs, while all B&O Automotive development and production resources will be transferred to Harman".

We've experienced of a number of B&O in-car systems in the past, such as those fitted to the Aston Martin Vanquish and Audi TT. In fact, just a few weeks ago, B&O announced three new systems, one for Audi's new R8 supercar another for the next generation of Q7 4x4 and a 16-channel system for the new BMW 6 Series.

Harman already provides the infotainment systems and amplification for a number of different car manufacturers, so it would seem to make sense to add B&O to its portfolio.

"Bang & Olufsen is a distinctive brand that will compliment our existing premium branded offerings and strengthen Harman's position in this segment," said Dinesh C Paliwal, Harman Chairman, President and CEO.

We're very interested to see where the B&O Play brand fits into deal - Paliwal promises to "rapidly grow B&O Play branded solutions in the larger mass luxury market". We assume this means you'll soon see a two-tier system in place, with Bang & Olufsen branded systems reserved for premium car models and B&O Play systems as options for cars further down the model ranges.

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Andy Madden

Andy is Deputy Editor of What Hi-Fi? and a consumer electronics journalist with nearly 20 years of experience writing news, reviews and features. Over the years he's also contributed to a number of other outlets, including The Sunday Times, the BBC, Stuff, and BA High Life Magazine. Premium wireless earbuds are his passion but he's also keen on car tech and in-car audio systems and can often be found cruising the countryside testing the latest set-ups. In his spare time Andy is a keen golfer and gamer.