Dr. Dre leapfrogged Jay Z in FORBES’ latest rankings of hip-hop’s richest artists, claiming the number two position as his net worth soared to an estimated $550 million. Now it looks like the Beats cofounder could lay claim to the top spot in a matter of days.
Late Thursday night, the Financial Times reported that Apple AAPL -1.23% was in talks to buy Beats for $3.2 billion; the deal would be the computer giant’s largest acquisition ever. Dre’s stake in Beats currently stands at somewhere around 20-25%; we valued the company at $2 billion in our latest round of estimates.
A sale for $3.2 billion would nearly double the value of Dre’s holdings, though capital gains taxes could take a bite out of his big payday, likely leaving him with a net worth in the neighborhood of $800 million. It’s not quite enough to land on the Forbes 400, but it would easily make him hip-hop’s richest man, topping current champion Diddy by $100 million.
“Beats has a unique brand—it speaks to a nice young demographic, which is really interesting to marketers,” said Peter Csathy, former president of Musicmatch, an early digital music purveyor acquired by Yahoo YHOO -0.35% in 2004 for $160 million. “When I think about Beats, I think about it as a lifestyle, I think of it as a media company, not just a hardware and music-focused company.”
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