Korean tech giant Samsung, which has denied rumors that it is working on a blockchain-focused smartphone, has just made patent applications in the UK for cryptocurrency wallets and related transfer technology. Photo: Reuters/Kim Hong-Ji

Samsung Electronics said on Monday it had agreed to buy Harman International Industries for about US$8 billion, a deal that enables the South Korean conglomerate to expand its presence in the auto parts market.

Board members of Samsung — the world’s largest producer of smartphones — approved the all-cash acquisition of the Connecticut-based firm for US$112 a share, which represents a premium of 28% to Harman’s Friday closing price.

“Harman immediately establishes a strong foundation for Samsung to grow our automotive platform,” Samsung said in a statement.

Harman produces high-end audio systems and other internet-enabled entertainment features for global carmakers including General Motors and Fiat Chrysler.

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