Dr. Dre’s Beats Electronics gets new funding, buys back HTC stake

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Beats Electronics LLC, founded by US rapper Dr. Dre and music producer Jimmy Iovine, said private equity firm Carlyle Group LP has agreed to make a minority investment in the audio technology company.

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. However, a person familiar with the matter, who was not authorized to publicly discuss financial details of the deal, said Carlyle would invest $500 million in Beats Electronics, valuing it at over $1 billion.

Equity for the investment will come from affiliates of Carlyle Partners V, Carlyle’s $13.7 billion U.S. buyout fund.

Beats Electronics also said it agreed to buy back the minority stake held by Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC Corp in the company.

HTC bought a 50.1 percent stake in the company in 2011, but sold half of it a year later.

Founded in 2008, Beats Electronics sells branded headphones, earphones and speakers, as well as Beats Audio software technology.

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