Beats Electronics unplugs HTC with $265 million share buyback

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Looks like the rumors were true. HTC announced today that Beats Electronics will buy back the remaining 25 percent stake it had in the headphone maker for $265 million, all but bringing to an end a two-year partnership that has never really worked out. It's quite a bit of cash for HTC, after it took a 50.1 percent share of Beats for $300 million in 2011, later agreeing to sell a 25 percent stake back to its partner just shy of its one-year anniversary. Beats, on the other hand, has recently embarked on a global expansion, broadening its product lines beyond headphones and its exclusive mobile partnership with HTC to include speakers, in-car audio systems, and soon an online music streaming service. Dr Dre. and Co. are rumored to be lining up a new investor that has the funds to help boost its growth. HTC said it will "continue to partner [with Beats] as future opportunities arise" but remains silent on its reasons to sell. It's strange how things turn out: not long ago we'd have guessed HTC would be the success and Beats the fly-by-night. Now, it appears those roles have been reversed.