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The dust is settling from K-Pop firm Hybe’s attempt to become the largest shareholder in rival SM Entertainment. The bid failed, and now Hybe has announced that it will sell its existing 15.8% stake in SM for $437m.

Kakao, the company that has been bidding against Hybe to take a larger stake in SM, is expected to buy some (but not all) of these shares, with the rest sold in a public offer according to Variety.

Kakao has thus emerged as the big winner from the battle, but its ambitions are not stopping there. Its entertainment division, Kakao Entertainment, has just launched a partnership with Colombia Records in the US.

Kakao said the deal aims to “expand Kakao Entertainment’s music distribution network and elevate its position in the global market”.

It’s starting with the international release of K-Pop group Ive’s debut full-length album in April.

“By strengthening the production and distribution capabilities of our music and artists in North America, we look forward to increasing the global competitiveness of Kakao Entertainment’s music business,” said Kakao Entertainment America boss Joseph Chang.

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Stuart Dredge

Music Ally's Head of Insight

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