Taking advantage of SM Entertainment’s infighting, Bang Si Hyuk’s HYBE purchases 14.8% of SM Entertainment’s shares for over $334 million.
While SM’s internal battle is going on extremely tense, recently HYBE has made a decisive move to manipulate SM into their hands.
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On February 10, HYBE Labels confirmed that it has purchased 14.8% of shares in SM Entertainment from founder Lee Soo Man, formally becoming the agency’s largest shareholder.
Lee Soo Man and HYBE Labels signed a transfer of shares contract on this day, resulting in HYBE purchasing 14.8% of SM Entertainment’s shares at 422.8 billion KRW (~ $334.4 million USD).
In a joint press statement, Lee Soo Man and Bang Si Hyuk revealed, “SM and HYBE have decided to join hands as to push both agencies to the status of game changers within the global popular music industry. Together, we will maximize the global competitiveness of K-Pop and strive toward a future-oriented, lifestyle platform business.”
In addition, HYBE Labels emphasized that the company strongly aligned with Lee Soo Man’s vision in innovative ideas like the metaverse, sustainability, as well as SM Entertainment’s move toward a multi-label structure.
HYBE Labels also added on, “In such a turbulent environment such as the global music market, SM Entertainment was the key agent which revolutionized Korea’s music industry and allowed for its sustainable growth. The agency paved the way and established a firm foundation for K-Pop to spread across the globe, and planted the idea that K-Pop was a new music genre to consumers around the world.”
Lee Soo Man and Bang Si Hyuk, who both graduated from Seoul National University, plan to continue an active partnership in the management and growth of SM Entertainment.