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Samsung Electronics has announced it is acquiring Harman International Industries for US$8 billion. The cash purchase of the US-based maker of connected car and audio systems signals the South Korean giant’s push into the auto electronics market in a big way, Reuters reports.

The deal, which is the biggest foreign acquisition ever made by a South Korean company, is expected to conclude sometime in mid-2017. The latest acquisition follows on a US$450 million stake purchase in Chinese EV automaker BYD. Samsung has also reportedly been in discussions with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) over a potential sale or partnership for the latter’s Magneti Marelli parts unit, but a deal has apparently been called off.

With an increasing deployment of electronics and software in vehicles, technology companies have been expanding into the sector, which is providing plenty of new business opportunities. Samsung is hoping to capitalise on this growth, quickly.

“We have been studying the automotive market for some time. We conclude that organic growth will not get us where we want to go fast enough,” Samsung Electronics president and chief strategy officer Young Sohn told reporters via a conference call. It however remains to be seen if Samsung will be able to grow into a company able to compete with the likes of Bosch and Continental, according to an analyst.

Harman, which provides infotainment, telematics and connected safety systems as well as security services, are being utilised in more than 30 million vehicles worldwide, and can be found in offerings from automakers such as BMW, Toyota and Volkswagen. Aside from harman/kardon, which also produces home audio products, Harman has a number of brands in its stable, including Infinity, JBL, Bang & Olufsen Automotive and Mark Levinson.