The deal includes an exclusive license to the Bang & Olufsen, B&O and B&O PLAY brands within the automotive industry.
Bang & Olufsen sound systems are currently available in Audi, Aston Martin, BMW and Mercedes-Benz car models.
Harman apparently plans to expand its role in the “luxury” car audio segment with the B&O brands.
“While Bang & Olufsen branded solutions will continue at the top of the high-end luxury segment, we will rapidly grow B&O PLAY branded solutions in the larger mass luxury market,” said Harman CEO Dinesh Paliwal. “Bang & Olufsen is a distinctive brand that will complement our existing premium branded offerings and strengthen Harman’s position in this segment.”
Update: Harman said it has no plans to bring the Bang & Olufsen brand to the aftermarket.
Harman will assume all Bang & Olufsen Automotive customer programs, and all Bang & Olufsen Automotive development and production resources will be transferred to Harman. The agreement is still subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals.
Most recently, Bang & Olufsen announced that its surround sound system is available in the new Audi R8.
“Now together with Harman, the Bang & Olufsen and B&O PLAY brands will ramp up innovation and refinement for premium automotive audio,” said a Harman statement.
Harman brands are already in more than 25 million cars, and include Bowers & Wilkins, Harman Kardon, Infinity, JBL, Lexicon, Mark Levinson and Revel as well as the new Bang & Olufsen brands.
Bang & Olufsen was founded in Struer, Denmark, in 1925 by Peter Bang and Svend Olufsen, two young engineers devoted to high quality audio reproduction.