Apple Acquires Beats for $3B

Updated from 4:33 p.m. to include comment from Carlyle on the transaction.

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Apple (AAPL) has agreed to buy Beats Electronics for $3 billion, as the consumer electronics giant makes a historic purchase, bringing another major brand under its umbrella for the first time.


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The purchase will include Beats Music and Beats Electronics, which makes the popular Beats headphones, speakers and audio software. As part of the deal, Apple is paying $2.6 billion in cash, and approximately $400 million in equity that will vest over time.

"Music is such an important part of all of our lives and holds a special place within our hearts at Apple," said Tim Cook, Apple's CEO in the press release. "That's why we have kept investing in music and are bringing together these extraordinary teams so we can continue to create the most innovative music products and services in the world."

"I've always known in my heart that Beats belonged with Apple," said Beats executive Jimmy Iovine, who will join Apple. "The idea when we started the company was inspired by Apple's unmatched ability to marry culture and technology. Apple's deep commitment to music fans, artists, songwriters and the music industry is something special."

Upon the deal's closing, Iovine and Beats co-founder Dr. Dre will join Apple.

"Music is such an important part of Apple's DNA and always will be," said Eddy Cue, Apple's senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. "The addition of Beats will make our music lineup even better, from free streaming with iTunes Radio to a world-class subscription service in Beats, and of course buying music from the iTunes Store as customers have loved to do for years."

Apple said it expects the deal to close in the fiscal fourth quarter of this year, subject to regulatory approvals.

Beats was privately owned prior to the deal with Apple, with private equity firm Carlyle owning a stake in the company. "The value of what the Beats team has built -and their ability to continue driving innovation and growth in the premium audio accessory market - is incredible," Carlyle Managing Director and Head of Consumer and Retail Sandra Horbach said in an emailed comment to TheStreet. "We have greatly enjoyed our partnership with Jimmy Iovine, Dr. Dre and their talented management and product teams. We wish them every continued success going forward."

Earlier this month, the Financial Times broke the story that Apple was in deep negotiations to buy Beats Electronics for $3.2 billion to bring the headphone maker and streaming music service under Apple's roof in Cupertino, Calif. Reports suggested that the deal could be announced soon, but no timeframe was given.

Beats Electronics' music streaming app, Beats Music, is currently ranked 18th in Apple's App Store under the music section.

Also Read: Beats Doesn't Make Sense For Apple

--Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York

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