Technology company Naver Corporation is thought to be investing ₩100 billion in SM Entertainment, the company behind K-pop stars NCT, EXO and Red Velvet
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The entertainment agency is home to some of the world's biggest K-pop acts, such as Girls' Generation, Super Junior and NCT
By Lisa Henderson on 07 Feb 2023
South Korean internet company Kakao Corp is to buy a 9.05% stake in K-pop behemoth SM Entertainment for a reported 217.2 billion won ($172.8m).
The deal will see Kakao Corp become the second largest shareholder in the entertainment agency, home to acts including Girls’ Generation, Super Junior, EXO, NCT and Red Velvet.
The two companies will team up to pursue joint management projects together including global K-pop auditions, management and music distribution businesses, according to Reuters.
“We hope to work together in competing in the heavily contested global music and content market through this investment”
“We hope to work together in competing in the heavily contested global music and content market through this investment,” says Kakao Chief Investment Officer Bae Jae-hyun.
SM Entertainment says the capital raised through the deal will fund its new business strategy dubbed “SM 3.0” – establishing multiple production centres and labels as well as a music publishing-specialised subsidiary, and investing in the metaverse.
At the end of last year, the Seoul-based operation announced plans to launch a headquarters in Singapore, in order to strengthen its presence in Southeast Asia.
The SM boss also revealed ambitions to slowly expand not just to other parts of Southeast Asia, but also to the wider continent, including the Middle East.
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