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Beats ends HTC partnership, buys back $265 million of shares

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Beats Audio
Beats Audio

Popular headphone maker Beats is buying back HTC's 25 percent stake in the company. HTC originally bought a $300 million, 50.1 percent stake in Beats back in 2011, and the headphone maker then paid $150 million to buy back half of that investment last year. Today's announcement means the close partnership between the two companies is coming to an end, with Beats buying back the final $265 million in shares. In a statement, HTC says Beats will still be an important partner, but it refused to say exactly how important the move is. The company also declined to state the reasoning behind the split and what financial impact the decision has.

HTC has been struggling to gain smartphone market share recently, with its profits dwindling quarter upon quarter. Conversely, Beats' revenue has been strong and the company claims 59 percent of the US market for premium headphones. HTC has branded all of its high-end handsets with the Beats logo over the past couple of years, and it's still not immediately clear whether that branding will continue at all. We've reached out to HTC for comment, and we'll update you accordingly.