Beats On Investor Hunt, Seeks HTC Buyout
Just months ahead its new Beats Music service launch and a planned product expansion, parent Beats Electronics is on the hunt for a major new investor that will infuse cash to fuel growth. Beats revenues top $1 billion annually and the company controls 59% of the U.S. premium headphone market.
In March, Beats announced a $60 million investment from Warner Music owner Len Blavatnik's Access Industries and other investors. Sources suggest that may have gone sour, and that the new round will come in the form of debt financing with a possible minority ownership stake. A portion of the funds would be used to buy out struggling Taiwanese smartphone manufacturer HTC, who has a 25% stake in Beats, according to a Wall Street Street Journal.
Earlier this year Beats named former Topspin head Ian Rogers as CEO of a future subscription music service, then called "Daisy";and Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor as its Chief Creative Officer. In 2012, Beats purchased digital music service MOG, which will provide the platform.
Recently Daisy was renamed Beats Music. The company also recently launched a basic web site and posted 13 jobs openings.