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Beats by Dre seeks to buy back HTC's 25% stake in the company

Posted: , by Alan F.

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Beats by Dre seeks to buy back HTC's 25% stake in the company
Headphone manufacturer Beats by Dre is looking to buy back the stake in the company held by HTC as it seeks a new partner willing to put some fresh cash in the business. Only a couple of months ago, market conditions forced the company to discard a $700 million debt offering that seemingly was a win-win for the company and its owners. It would have provided the company with a war chest of hundreds of millions of dollars for acquisitions and would have paid off the founders of the company (Jimmy Iovine and Dr.Dre) with a handsome dividend without forcing them to give up control of the company. But fears of rising interest rates and the company's low credit rating put a kibosh on the offering in June.

Beats would like to buy out the 25% stake in the company owned by Taiwan based handset manufacturer HTC. Originally, when HTC purchased the investment, it started including a special pair of Beats earbuds in the box with its new Android flavored smartphones, a practice that HTC eventually stopped due to the cost. But Beats has seen its revenue rise from $200 million in 2010 to $1 billion last year, partly on the success of its audio products for smartphones. Beats positions its line as having better sound that the earbuds offered by Apple.

HTC, which also includes audio enhancing software from Beats on most models, originally purchased 50.1% of the company in 2011 for $300 million only to cut that stake in half by selling it back to Beats a year later for $150 million. Considering the strong growth that Beats had achieved in that time span, HTC was giving the audio company a huge break on the price. Furthermore, HTC loaned Beats $225 million last year, backed by all of the company's assets. The loan is due sometime this year. If Beats is successful in buying back HTC's stake in the company, it is unknown if  the latter would continue to include the Beats Audio software on future handset models.

source: WSJ

28 Comments
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posted on 19 Aug 2013, 01:51 11

1. Taters (Posts: 2599; Member since: 28 Jan 2013)


LOL They do not want to be soiled by the HTC sucks brand.

posted on 19 Aug 2013, 03:45 4

13. _god_ (banned) (Posts: 47; Member since: 13 Aug 2013)


Its not like beats doesn't

posted on 19 Aug 2013, 11:30

25. Taters (Posts: 2599; Member since: 28 Jan 2013)


True. Beats sucks too but at least they know they are a sham product like Monster Cables. HTC actually believes they are the best smartphone company in the world and doesn't think they need to make any changes besides market more. Sad really.

posted on 19 Aug 2013, 18:05

27. InspectorGadget80 (Posts: 6149; Member since: 26 Mar 2011)


was a bad business move by DR. DRE.

posted on 19 Aug 2013, 02:07 8

2. SIGPRO (Posts: 398; Member since: 03 Oct 2012)


HTC sucks anyway!

posted on 19 Aug 2013, 03:36 19

11. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5464; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)


I disagree.

posted on 19 Aug 2013, 18:06

28. InspectorGadget80 (Posts: 6149; Member since: 26 Mar 2011)


good thing bout HTC they put the BEATS AUDIO in the phone which have better sound. and i disagree too when u make a deal with someone u get you're stock back

posted on 19 Aug 2013, 02:13 1

4. Luisit0 (Posts: 73; Member since: 18 Feb 2013)


I hope this is just a bad dream cause if its not then I wont upgrade from my HTC One...

posted on 19 Aug 2013, 02:33 6

5. kaira (Posts: 26; Member since: 12 May 2013)


I don't even spot the difference between the BEATS equalizer and the phone default equalizer, cause BEATS its just JUNK to say the least...

posted on 19 Aug 2013, 02:36 8

6. kaliil10 (Posts: 145; Member since: 16 May 2012)


if you say HTC suck it means you let Apple and samsung to f***ck us!!! as consumers its not good to us to see every year a new dying Manufacturer

posted on 19 Aug 2013, 07:42 1

20. oister85 (Posts: 394; Member since: 27 Apr 2012)


True as a consumer we don't want samsung an apple only. We nees more companies to compete. The benefit of that is new technology, cheaper price, is more to choose from.

posted on 19 Aug 2013, 03:20

10. darkskoliro (Posts: 938; Member since: 07 May 2012)


If they keep their 2.1v amp on their headphones then I wouldnt care less about beats :)

posted on 19 Aug 2013, 06:14 1

15. belovedson (Posts: 830; Member since: 30 Nov 2010)


2.1 v amp wow. is there much noise? what are you running

posted on 19 Aug 2013, 03:44 1

12. Finest (Posts: 76; Member since: 16 Aug 2013)


i'd prefer SONY. can't really tell the difference between beats equalizer and stock equalizer of musicplayer apps. but walkman by sony its quite good

posted on 19 Aug 2013, 05:03 1

14. MartianMe (unregistered)


Beats is garbage anyways ..sennheiser is way better.

posted on 19 Aug 2013, 07:22 3

17. Shatter (Posts: 1973; Member since: 29 May 2013)


Any half decent brand with a fiio amp is better than beats.

posted on 19 Aug 2013, 08:44 1

21. SmartPhoneStream (Posts: 160; Member since: 21 Jun 2012)


True, people need to get some real headphones like Sennheiser, V-Moda and Audio-Technica.

posted on 19 Aug 2013, 06:37 3

16. suneeboy (Posts: 153; Member since: 02 Oct 2012)


Beats has a great marketing model. Even if they aren't the "best" to techies, sales indicate that they are the "best" to consumers. You see that logo everywhere on television.

posted on 19 Aug 2013, 07:22 1

18. Shatter (Posts: 1973; Member since: 29 May 2013)


They are the Apple of the Headphone market, they suck worse than everything else, even stuff that cost 75% cheaper and cost way to much.

If your looking for good headphones that do not require an amp to be good check out Vmoda, they blow beats out of the water for a fraction of the price. General rule for headphones is if its over $200 it probably requires a dedicated amp/dac to get what you paid for.

posted on 19 Aug 2013, 11:33

26. Taters (Posts: 2599; Member since: 28 Jan 2013)


Monster, beats, Apple are all in the same boat. Monster and beats are different though, they know they are a sham that depends on their image. That is why they need to cut HTC before HTC ruins their illusion.

posted on 19 Aug 2013, 07:24

19. tiara6918 (Posts: 1329; Member since: 26 Apr 2012)


I wish they'd just include the beats headphones in the box. If it's too expensive, offer it in a different version or in another way

posted on 19 Aug 2013, 09:58

22. Mrmark (Posts: 112; Member since: 26 Jan 2013)


Maybe Apple products will get it next lol

posted on 19 Aug 2013, 10:14

24. Pancoon (Posts: 42; Member since: 05 Jul 2013)


Not even... Apple is all ready decent in the area of audio, probably would never ever let another company advertise on their iPhones, and they already paid their products with headphones.

posted on 19 Aug 2013, 10:10

23. Pancoon (Posts: 42; Member since: 05 Jul 2013)


Lol, I read the comments and half of them are hating on beats, and the other half hating on HTC. Where is the love people?

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