Headphone maker Beats Audio reportedly wants to kick out HTC to partner with a new investor that can provide it with fresh funds for growth, according to a report by WSJ. Struggling Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC invested $300 million in 2011 to receive a 50 percent stake in Beats Electronics and last year Beats already bought back half of HTC's shares. Beats saw explosive growth in the last couple of years, the company's revenue shot up from less than $200 million in 2010 to roughly $1 billion in 2012.
The moves come as the founders of Beats Electronics LLC—music mogul Jimmy Iovine and American hip-hop producer and artist Andre Young, better known as Dr. Dre—are broadening the company's business from headphones to include speakers, audio systems in cars and consumer electronics and a soon-to-be-launched online streaming music service.
It also comes only a couple of months after the company shelved a separate deal that would have raised hundreds of millions of dollars in cash for acquisitions and investments, as well as allowing the founders to be paid a dividend without giving up their controlling interest in Beats Electronics.