The Carlyle Group (Nasdaq: CG) is making a minority investment in Beats Electronics LLC, an audio brand.

Beats, headquartered in Santa Monica, Calif., was founded by record producer and rapper Andre Young, known as Dr. Dre, and music label Interscope Geffen A&M Records’ chairman Jimmy Iovine, in 2008. The company makes headphones, earphones, speakers and software technology. The company says it has a 64 percent market share in the $100 plus headphone category in North America.

Young and Iovine created the company in an attempt to create recording-studio quality sound quality.

Carlyle will work with Beats’ management team to expand the brand domestically and internationally. Terms of the investment were not disclosed, but reports indicate it was around $500 million. Carlyle is making the investment from affiliates of Carlyle Partners V, the firm’s $13.7 billion U.S. buyout fund.

Washington, D.C.-based Carlyle has about $180 billion in assets under management across 118 funds and 81 fund of funds.

Beats also announced that it is buying back a minority stake in the company held by HTC Corp., and HTC will cease to own any portion of Beats. HTC agreed to buy a 51 percent stake in the business for about $309 million in August 2011. 

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