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$8 Billion Harman Buyout Canceled

Harman International Industries’ $8 billion sale to two private equity firms collapsed on Sept. 21. The sale had been announced last April and was expected to close by the end of the year.

According to a statement issued by Harman, the buyers, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. and Goldman Sachs Group, said they believed “a material adverse change in Harman’s business has occurred, that Harman has breached the merger agreement and that they are not obligated to complete the merger.” Harman disagreed that such a change had happened or that it breached the merger agreement, but it has not announced what action it will take, if any.

Shares of Harman dropped $23.49 to $88.76, a nearly 21-percent dip. This past year, its stock has traded between $79.98 and $125.13. It hit that high after the announcement of the original buyout.

According to the Associated Press, the deal was squashed due to questions about Harman’s financial health, as opposed to difficulties in a tight credit market. In August, the company had reported a lackluster quarter, with revenue of $911.1 million — roughly $30 million less than expected.