SM Entertainment unexpectedly raided by police over allegations of stock price manipulation.
The turmoil continues to surround SM Entertainment after its merger with Kakao.
On April 18, Korean media reported that SM Entertainment was searched at its headquarters on suspicion of manipulating stock prices. It was reported that the Seoul Prosecutor’s Office visited the company’s headquarters to search and seize data related to allegations of market manipulation in the Kakao and HYBE’s attempt to acquire SM.
In February, HYBE Labels filed a complaint with the Financial Supervisory Service, stating that there was a force that manipulated stock prices to obstruct their acquisition of SM. Kakao, the winning bidder in this deal, was also searched at its three main offices on April 6.
In February, the HYBE Labels – Kakao acquisition battle for SM Entertainment drew a lot of public attention. In the end, HYBE Labels sold all the shares it acquired from former Chairman Lee Soo Man to Kakao, giving up its ambition to take over SM.
It seemed to have ended smoothly, but to this day, there are still new developments in this deal. In addition to Kakao being searched, Korean media also reported that SM management requested employees to submit their mobile phones and laptops before the investigation took place. However, SM has denied this information.
SM Entertainment, the “empire,” is the “home” of many famous artists including Kangta, BoA, DBSK, Super Junior, SNSD, SHINee, EXO, Red Velvet, NCT, aespa.