Harmon Int’l Denies Buyout Offer

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Harman International Industries Inc (HAR.N), a maker of high-end audio equipment, said on Monday it had not received a buyout offer from a private investment group, denying reports that had sent its shares up 33 percent earlier on Monday.

Several media outlets on Sunday received a faxed statement that said a private investment firm called Arabian Peninsula Group planned to acquire Harman for $49.50 a share — double Harman’s Friday closing price of $25.18.

Some media reported it, adding fuel to trading activity before the bell. By mid-morning Monday, Harman shares had reversed course and were down 4 percent at $24.15 on the New York Stock Exchange.

When asked if it was the target of a hoax, Harman, which makes speakers for homes and cars under brands that include Harman Kardon, Infinity and JBL, said it had no idea who was the source of the supposed tender offer.

“The company has not received such communications and is not familiar with any parties claiming to make such a solicitation,” Harman said in a statement issued just before the start of trading on Monday.

A spokesman for Harman said, “I prefer not to speculate on any motive for these reports, other than to say we have no idea where they originated.”

The Sunday statement from “APG,” which quoted an executive named Donald Parker, and said to be head of Arabian’s Strategic Investments Unit, did not provide a contact for verification.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission did not immediately respond to a request for a comment.

In 2007, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co LP and Goldman Sachs Group Inc’s private equity arm backed out of their deal to buy Harman, under which stockholders would have received $120 per share.

(Reporting by Franklin Paul, editing by Gerald E. McCormick and Maureen Bavdek)