The Carlyle Group announced a minority investment in Beats Electronics, the audio brand co-founded by Dr. Dre and Interscope Geffen A&M Chairman Jimmy Iovine. Terms of the investment were not disclosed. Carlyle will work with Beats’ management to expand the brand and build the business domestically and internationally.
Beats Electronics LLC (Beats), the audio brand co-founded by legendary artist and producer Dr. Dre and Interscope Geffen A&M Chairman Jimmy Iovine, announced today that The Carlyle Group (NASDAQ:CG), the global alternative asset manager, has agreed to make a minority investment in Beats. Carlyle will work with the Beats management team to continue expanding the brand and building the business both domestically and internationally. Additional terms of the transaction, which is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2013, were not disclosed.
Beats also announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement to reacquire the minority stake in Beats held by HTC Corp. As a result, HTC will no longer have any ownership stake in Beats.
Beats Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer Jimmy Iovine said, “These transactions represent the evolution of the financial strength and significant growth prospects of Beats. Carlyle is a fantastic investment partner and we look forward to building the next chapter of Beats.”
Carlyle Managing Director and Head of Consumer and Retail Sandra Horbach said, “We are confident that Beats will continue to drive innovation and growth in the premium audio accessory market, particularly as the proliferation of smart phones and tablets stimulate increased consumption of digital media. 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.”
In 2006, Iovine and Dre set out to solve the problem of poor sound quality caused by the digital revolution combined with the proliferation of cheap earbuds bundled with MP3 players, laptops, mobile phones and other portable devices. Their solution was Beats Electronics. Formally established in 2008, Beats comprises the Beats by Dr. Dre family of premium consumer headphones, earphones, and speakers as well as patented Beats Audio software technology. Through these offerings, Beats has effectively brought the energy, emotion and excitement of playback in the recording studio to the listening experience. This has introduced an entirely new generation to the possibilities of premium sound entertainment. Beats currently maintains a greater than 64% percent market share of the $100+ premium headphone category in North America according to data provided by NPD Group and also reaches consumers through product partnerships that include Chrysler Group automobiles, Hewlett Packard computers and monitors, and HTC smartphones.
Equity for Carlyle’s investment will come from affiliates of Carlyle Partners V, Carlyle’s $13.7 billion U.S. Buyout fund.
ABOUT BEATS ELECTRONICS LLC
Established in 2008 as the brainchild of legendary artist and producer Dr. Dre and Chairman of Interscope Geffen A&M Records Jimmy Iovine, Beats Electronics is the parent company of the Beats™ by Dr. Dre™ line of high-quality headphones and speakers, as well as Beats Audio™ HD-sound systems. The company’s mission is to build quality music experiences for all elements of the digital music ecosystem—including headphones, devices and services—so that fans can hear music the way artists intended it to sound in the studio. This includes partnerships with computer manufacturer HP and automotive manufacturer Chrysler Group. Led by CEO Jimmy Iovine and President & COO Luke Wood, Beats Electronics is based in Santa Monica, CA. For more information, please visit http://beatsbydre.com/.
ABOUT THE CARLYLE GROUP
The Carlyle Group (NASDAQ: CG) is a global alternative asset manager with $180 billion of assets under management across 118 funds and 81 fund of funds vehicles as of June 30, 2013. Carlyle’s purpose is to invest wisely and create value on behalf of its investors, many of whom are public pensions. Carlyle invests across four segments – Corporate Private Equity, Real Assets, Global Market Strategies and Global Solutions – in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, the Middle East, North America and South America. Carlyle has expertise in various industries, including: aerospace, defense & government services, consumer & retail, energy, financial services, healthcare, industrial, technology & business services, telecommunications & media and transportation. The Carlyle Group employs more than 1,400 people in 34 offices across six continents. For more information, please visit http://www.carlyle.com.