When courted by KKR, Harman International was experiencing robust times. After several months of due diligence performed by KKR and its financial and legal partners, KKR announced that Harman International had agreed to be acquired in a private equity transaction valued at $8 billion. But by the time the documents pertaining to the Harman International/KKR transaction were on the table, the financial markets that had ridden on the enormous momentum from prior years into the first half of 2007, almost overnight experienced a cooling-off period of unprecedented magnitude. Unfortunately, Harman International’s fourth quarter results released in August 2007 were disappointing, prompting some critical questions: What was the real intrinsic value of Harman International, and which financial metrics were most meaningful in assessing that value? Should KKR follow through on the proposed transaction or pay a required $225 million termination fee? Was going private still in the best interest of Harman International, or should the CEO abandon the transaction and have his company pay the termination fee? Followed by the B case, C-2311.
Darden Business Publishing – University of Virginia