For almost two years now, all of HTC's smartphones have come equipped with Beats Electronics-branded audio. This is because, two years ago, HTC bought a 25% share in Beats, the audio equipment company founded by famed rap producer Dr. Dre. However, just over one month ago, reports surfaced that the growing company was looking to buy back those shares from HTC, seeking out investors to finance the purchase.
Now, with an image to uphold, Beats has officially acquired some 26,000 of its Class B stock from HTC - an estimated 24.84 interest in the company. The purchase cost Beats $250 million, and HTC now owns no part of the company. HTC originally paid around $300 million for the shares back in 2011.
Beats, which is now a well-recognized brand of premium-priced headphones, has recently begun increasing its product range, including Beats-branded speakers, car audio systems, and PC audio. The company is currently looking for debt financing for future expansion.
While Beats continues to grow, HTC is currently in a downward spiral. The tech company's most recent high-end smartphone offerings, HTC One X and HTC One, failed to sell well despite being well-reviewed by critics. The company is now relying on an odd Robert Downey, Jr. marketing campaign to save its handset division. HTC has been caught in the same place as other Android smartphone manufacturers, with Samsung's range of Galaxy and other Android devices dominating the sector.