Well, it looks like the speculation was true: the partnership between HTC and Beats Audio LLC is coming to a close. Bloomberg reports that just two years after the smartphone manufacturer bought up a 51% stock share of Dr. Dre’s fledgling audio corporation, HTC has sold its currently remaining share back to the company for $265 million.
HTC took a stake in Beats back in 2011, when the smartphone manufacturer was on top of the Android(s goog) heap and trying to stave off the increasing aggression from rivals like Samsung and LG. But just a year later, the company allowed Beats to buy back 25% of ownership for $150 million — right before the audio company hit its stride and grew to the billion-dollar company that it is today.
Now that HTC will be bought out by Beats, as the audio company has developed an undisclosed deal with asset management company Carlyle Group LP to furnish the process, the two companies will likely go separate ways. In addition to expanding its product line of consumer and automobile products, Beats is slated to finally launch the long-awaited Beats Music, a subscription streaming service developed by music producer and Beats co-founder Jimmy Iovine.
As for HTC, Bloomberg reports that the $265 million cash intake will at least mitigate the damage done by this year’s difficult sales of the HTC One, so it will likely go back and lick its wounds for a while.