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HYBE to acquire 14.8 percent stake in SM Entertainment

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Founder of SM Entertainment Lee Soo-man, left, and HYBE founder Bang Si-hyuk [SM ENTERTAINMENT, HYBE]
HYBE will acquire a 14.8 percent stake in SM Entertainment for 422.8 billion won ($334 million) to become the largest shareholder of the entertainment agency, HYBE announced in a public disclosure Friday.

The shares are currently held by Lee Soo-man, founder of SM Entertainment, who is embroiled in a dispute with the current management of SM Entertainment.

[HYBE]
When the deal is completed, Lee will no longer be the largest shareholder of SM Entertainment. Kakao announced on Tuesday that it is acquiring a 9.05 percent stake in SM Entertainment for 217.2 billion won.

HYBE is home to K-pop acts such as BTS, Seventeen, Tomorrow X Together, Enhyphen, NewJeans, Le Ssserafim and more. SM Entertainment holds the intellectual property rights for a number of the biggest K-pop groups of the last decade, including TVXQ, Super Junior, SHINee, Exo, NCT and aespa.

BY LIM JEONG-WON [lim.jeongwon@joongang.co.kr]

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