Beats Electronics unplugs HTC with $265 million share buyback

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.