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HTC lost its Beats as it sold back half of ownership stake for $150M

July 23, 2012
Instead of hearing the sweet sound of success, the much-championed synergy between HTC and Beats Electronics was met with a bunch of noise and static. With HTC struggling to carve a place in the smartphone market, the Taiwanese have decided to sell 25% of the audio brand’s shares back – stripping off the company from its majority shareholder status.

The revelation was shared by HTC and Beats over the weekend, where the shares were announced to have been sold back for $150 million. Back in August 2011, HTC purchased 50.1% of Beats for $309 million. This means it may put HTC at a bit of a loss.

The realignment will still place HTC as the largest outside shareholder of Beats with approximately 25%, while the remainder is owned by the two founding members of Beats, Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre. If you’re a fan of those Beats-enhanced HTC handsets, there’s nothing to worry about for now, as we can still expect to see more coming out in the future.

As HTC explained:

Over the last year, HTC and Beats have made great progress in sound innovation, product integration and brand awareness with successes like the HTC One. HTC and Beats will continue to work closely, including a joint global marketing campaign later this year.

What you shouldn’t expect is seeing the Beats logo being emblazoned on other phone brands, because HTC still maintains Beats’ commercial exclusivity in mobile. We can always look forward to what the companies have in store for the recently-purchased MOG music streaming service. Hopefully it will not only help HTC stand out from the crowd, but it will also make customers want to buy the phones.