UPDATED: Beats Buys Back HTC Shares For $265M, As Carlyle Group Invests $500M
UPDATE: The new Carlyle Group investment totals $500 million, according to the Wall Street Journal. No announcement was made of the stake the investment group gets in return, but it's likely Beats total valuation is north of $1 billion.
Beats is paying $265 million to buy back the $300 million 51% stake which mobile phone maker HTC made two years ago. The company, makers of top-selling Beats headphones, will also repay a $150 million note. The deal leaves music exec Jimmy Iovine and rapper Dr. Dre firmly in control just months priors to the launch of the Beats Music subscription service.
Beats also announced that the Carlyle Group will make a minority investment, with that deal expected to close in the fourth quarter. Terms were not disclosed.
HTC's stock has fallen 90% as it's share of the global smartphone market fell to 2.8%, from 5.8% last year. “For HTC it puts more cash in the bank, and they need cash now that they have turned operating cash flow negative,” Jean-Louis Lafayeedney, an analyst at JI Asia in Hong Kong told Bloomberg. “Investors have been asking HTC to shed assets and get cash back to help them regain profitability.”