Monster speaks out about Apple's $3.2B Beats acquisition: We're not bitter
Monster has broken silence about the alleged talks between Apple and Beats Electronics over the potential acquisition of the audio brand. And it's no fairy tale ending for CEO Noel Lee and the company.
Monster lost the intellectual property and manufacturing rights to the Beats by Dr Dre name and products when Dre and Jimmy Iovine decided to split from the audio manufacturer and took $300 million for a 51 per cent share in the company from HTC. The original deal signed with Monster was ludicrously one sided, with Dre and Iovine owning almost every single aspect of Beats and Monster just the distribution rights.
It got a small kick back from that deal, but nothing in comparison to what Dre and Iovine now stand to make from Apple. That effectively means that the brand Monster built and the products it crafted that changed the entire headphones market will earn its creators not a penny more, but other pockets will be lined with billions (cue Dr Evil and his little finger).
Naturally, this is not great news for Lee and his company. He does try to put a brave face on it and look at the positive side though. In a statement sent to Pocket-lint, the head monster, laments not being part of the prospective Apple partnership, but says that the deal reflects well on Monster itself.
"We are very excited for our friends at Beats to have achieved such an incredible valuation for the company Monster started. For the first 5 years, until 2013, Monster was Beats, having developed, engineered, and distributed all of the Beats products," he says.
"We wish we could have partnered with companies like Apple and enjoyed some of the fruits of our labour, but our license with Beats ended with the purchase of Beats by HTC. Monster, by contract, had to turn over all of the IP and manufacturing in 2013.
"However, the reported Apple acquisition reflects on the potential valuation of Monster – as we have developed many new and advanced products that are appearing on the market now. The potential Beats/Apple deal is an inspiration and reflects the high potential for Monster, and for us to continue to seek out our own partnerships and collaborations."
Lee also points to current and future collaborations that his company will hope could be a new "Beats" success story.
"We have become a platform for creativity, innovation and collaboration. Our partnerships range from luxury with Lamborghini and Hublot, to lifestyle products with Adidas Originals, set to be showcased during the World Cup in Brazil, and the stunning 24K headphone evangelised by hip hop artist Meek Mill. Our sports collaborations include the UFC, the World Poker Tournament, World Series of Poker, as well as Caesars Entertainment," he explains.
"I want to thank Jimmy and Dre for pioneering the way in marketing and Beats Music, and putting a spotlight to the value of companies in our space. We will find the collaborations and opportunities that will change the game once again."
Next time though, we suspect the contracts will be a little more canny.