Beats buys back 25 percent of its shares, HTC retains 25 percent and mobile exclusivityAlex Wagner - Senior News Editor
It was nearly a year ago when HTC announced that it'd gained a majority stake in Beats Electronics thanks to a $300 million investment, but it looks like Beats has decided to buy back some of its shares just shy of the deal's first anniversary. HTC has revealed on its Investor page that Beats Electronics has purchased 25 percent of HTC's shares of the business for $150 million, giving Beats approximately a 75 percent share of the company. That leaves HTC with around a 25 percent share, which still leaves the manufacturer as the largest outside shareholder of Beats. The move will give Beats "more flexibility for global expansion," and HTC will retain its mobile commercial exclusivity.
Since the original deal's announcement, HTC has been building Beats software into many of its smartphones, and it also bundled in Beats headphones with some devices. However, an HTC executive recently said that the company probably wouldn't include headphones in future products, and today's news makes the possibility of bundled Beats headphones seem even more unlikely. Still, HTC says that it and Beats will continue to work closely together, adding that they're planning a joint global marketing campaign for later this year. And HTC's continued mobile exclusivity, I'm sure we'll continue to see the Beats software appear on the Taiwanese firm's handsets. Do any of you HTC product owners use the Beats software included on your device?