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Hybe Agrees to Acquire 14.8% of SM Entertainment to Become Largest Shareholder

Written: 2023-02-10 14:40:10Updated: 2023-02-10 15:43:29

Hybe Agrees to Acquire 14.8% of SM Entertainment to Become Largest Shareholder

Photo : YONHAP News

Hybe, the management agency of global K-pop stars BTS, is set to acquire a 14-point-eight-percent stake in rival company SM Entertainment to become its largest shareholder.

In a regulatory filing on Friday, Hybe announced that it has agreed to buy the shares held by SM Entertainment founder Lee Soo-man for 422-point-eight billion won, or around 334-point-three million dollars, by March 6. Lee currently holds an 18-point-46-percent stake.

Hybe said the latest deal is a part of efforts to merge the two companies' global competitiveness and become a game changer in the global pop music market.

The company said Bang Si-hyuk, the founder and chairman of Hybe, reached an agreement with the SM founder after a discussion on their shared concerns about the future of the K-pop industry.

Lee's agreement with Hybe is expected to aggravate his ongoing management dispute with other senior executives at SM, evidenced by a statement of opposition to the deal issued later on Friday by the company's co-CEOs Lee Sung-soo and Tak Young-joon as well as other executives.

Earlier this week, the founder sought an injunction against SM's deal with Kakao Corporation that would see the Kakao Talk operator buy a nine-point-05-percent stake for 217-point-two billion won to become its second-largest shareholder.

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