Carlyle Group pumps $500 million into Beats Electronics

Beats Electronics, based in Santa Monica, Calif., said equity investment giant Carlyle Group has purchased a minority share of the company for $500 million.

Beats, founded by music producer Jimmy Iovine and rapper Andre Young — known as Dr. Dre — is a rapidly expanding maker of high-end headphones costing between $200 and $400.

Terms of the deal with Carlyle Group were not disclosed, but the deal values Beats at more than $1 billion, The Wall Street Journal reported Saturday. When smartphone maker HTC invested in Beats two years ago, the company had a valuation of about $600 million, the Journal said.

Carlyle's investment was announced simultaneously with news that Beats had agreed to buy out HTC Corp.'s 24.84 percent of the company in a deal valued at $265 million.

“These transactions represent the evolution of the financial strength and significant growth prospects of Beats,” said Iovine, who also is chairman of Interscope Geffen A&M.

The Hollywood Reporter said the deal is expected to help Beats expand, especially overseas.

Carlyle Group, based in Washington, is the second-largest private equity firm in the world with $180 billion in assets under its management and is known to have friends in high places, the Journal said.

“Carlyle has a strong history of helping great brands expand globally, and we are thrilled to partner with Jimmy Iovine, Dr. Dre and their talented management and product teams,” said Sandra Horbach, the equity firm's managing director and head of consumer and retail.

Copyright 2013 by United Press International

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