A well-placed source has confirmed (to TechCrunch) rumours that Apple’s acquisition of Beats “is happening” but was close to falling apart multiple times. The source said with “70% certainty” that Apple’s planned multi-billion-dollar acquisition of headphone maker Beats will go through.
This report comes from TechCrunch’s “well-placed source” also stating that Apple wants to hire Iovine as well as Dr. Dre because “He’s got fashion and culture completely locked up.”
According to a report two weeks ago, by the Financial Times, pinned the deal at $3.2 billion. However, the source believes the FT story is accurate and that Tim Cook’s recent behavior — hiring Angela Ahrendts from Burberry, former Leica and Nokia engineer Ari Partinen, Nike’s Ben Shaffer, and former CEO of Yves St. Laurent, Paul Deneve — is indicative of an effort to stock the Apple larder with culturally aware and highly skilled managers.
The above report was followed by another one last week by Re/Code stating that the deal might take another week to finalise.
While reviews of Beats hardware have been mixed, the company is valuable for the “record-label-in-a-box” that the Iovine and Dre relationship affords. Iovine is known as a pit bull in the realm of media negotiations and this move will give Apple youth stature thanks to the brand and business chops with the Iovine/Dre mix. Iovine will be most valuable in negotiations with record labels in iTunes acquisitions.
Rumors in Asia also point to previous moves by Samsung to buy the Beats brand, a deal that fell through “earlier in the year.” Apple’s efforts, it seems, will bear more fruit despite the delay.
“The deal hasn’t fallen apart yet,” the source said.
Neither Beats nor Apple has offered to comment on the reports in any form.
Probably more interesting than the report that the deal is still ongoing and has not fallen through is the 30% certainty that the deal will not go through.