HTC takes majority stake in Beats by Dr. Dre
HTC continued to diversify its product portfolio on Thursday, announcing it had purchased a majority 51 percent stake in Beats Electronics, a US company that produces high end headphones and speakers. The company is a joint venture of rapper Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine.
In monetary terms the investment comes to about $300 million USD, according to reports.
The acquisition also means that higher end audio will make it into HTC's phone lineup, the first of which will begin to appear this fall. While HTC will own a good portion of the company, it would still operate separate from the phone manufacturer.
HTC seems to be hoping that aligning itself with a brand like Beats by Dr. Dre will solidify its smartphone device's appeal in the all-important youth segment. It would also give the company solid exposure in the highly profitable accessories market, something up until now it did not have.
"It's an exciting brand that has been built around providing something very special, and we believe our strategic partnership will provide customers with unbeatable sound on HTC phones," HTC CEO Peter Chou said in a statement.
Beats' current partnerships would not be affected by the deal, which include Monster Cable, HP, and Chrysler. Monster currently distributes Beats By Dr. Dre's iconic headphone line.