When the shocking news broke last week that Apple was in negotiations to acquire Beats Electronics for $3.2 billion, industry observers had many thoughts, whether about the future of Apple, the long-term viability of the high-end headphone category, or whether or not Dr. Dre can legitimately call himself the first billionaire in hip hop.
But there were also some who turned their thoughts to Monster Products. Monster, of course, partnered with Beats at launch, participated in the original engineering, and manufactured the brand’s headphones starting in 2008. But the companies split in 2012, leaving Monster with no equity in Beats- and therefore, without a piece of Apple’s purchase price.
Monster founder and “Head Monster,” Noel Lee, issued a statement Monday on the Apple/Beats deal- which, as of now, has not been officially announced:
We are very excited for our friends at Beats to have achieved such an incredible valuation for the company Monster started. CE retailers had a critical part in the success of the Beats phenomena. I will always be grateful to all of Monster’s longtime retail partners who took a chance and reset the headphone category for us and took Beats in. Without that distribution, Beats would not have had the accessibility to consumers. This also reflects the continued interest in audio by consumers and investors. It’s a great opportunity for retailers to make audio-related sales.
In an interview with Business Insider earlier in the day, Lee had stated that “we’re very happy that they received such a high valuation. And I’m thinking of what that means for Monster’s valuation.” In the official statement, Lee said something similar, calling the prospective Apple/Beats deal “an inspiration for us to continue to seek out our own deals and collaborations.”
Also in the statement, Lee also talked up Monster’s own headphone products:
We continue to offer our retail partners great products and also continue to engineer and innovate audio technology. Monster’s advanced Pure Monster Sound technology brings listeners closer to the music. This technology is incorporated in our DNA, Ntunes, iSport and Inspiration headphones, as well as exciting new products like SuperStar, the world’s smallest audiophile speaker, and PowerCard, the credit card sized super charger for phones and tablets.
In the BI interview, Lee had described the technology that Monster designed for beats “a little dated, in my opinion, and in the opinion of a lot of people on the internet.” He added that “I feel that we weren’t recognized. We got erased from the history of Beats. We were the founders. Most of the public has only heard a one-sided story and they’re not even aware of Monster’s participation. And they’re not aware that we’ve gone onto bigger and better things.”
Lee and his son, Kevin, first spoke to Gizmodo last year about their divorce from Beats.