Taiwan's HTC sells back Beats stake

Taiwan's leading smartphone maker HTC said Friday it has agreed to sell its remaining 24.84 percent stake in US headphone maker Beats Electronics LLC back to the firm for $265 million.

HTC said in a statement to the Taiwan Stock Exchange that the deal will close by the fourth quarter of 2013, adding that Beats will remain an important partner to the company.

HTC announced in 2011 that it paid about $309 million for a 51 percent stake in the firm, which produces high-end headphones and is run by US hip hop producer Dr Dre, but sold half of that back for around $150 million a year later.

The news came as Beats aims to broaden its business from headphones to include speakers, car audio systems, consumer electronics, and a soon-to-be-launched online streaming music service.

Beats is the brainchild of music mogul Jimmy Iovine and Dr Dre, a globally successful rapper and producer who has worked with some of the biggest names in music, including Eminem, Jay-Z and Justin Timberlake.

-- DowJones Newswire contributed to this story --