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Wednesday, February 21, 2024

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.

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]