updated 01:40 pm EDT, Sun July 22, 2012
HTC still largest shareholder, but Beats to seek more flexibility
Beats Audio will buy back half of the shares Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC owns in the company. The buyback was announced yesterday in a press release from the audio accessory maker. It's been just under a year since HTC bought 50 percent of Beats, but the new development will see Beats striking out more on its own going forward.
Beats will buy 25 percent ownership back from HTC, meaning that the company will now own 75 percent of its own shares, and HTC will remain the largest external shareholder with a 25 percent ownership stake in Beats. In the press release announcing the deal, it was said that the ownership realignment will allow Beats more flexibility for global expansion while retaining HTC's majority stake in the company. The deal will also preserve HTC's commercial exclusivity in mobile devices.
The persistence of the mobile exclusivity deal likely means that Beats technology will only appear in HTC tablets and smartphones, though the company will likely continue to place its audio tech in notebooks and desktops. Beats has been looking to make a larger name for itself in the audio sector, and the company recently acquired music streaming service MOG in a move that hints at bigger plans in the workings at Beats.