Korean media group HYBE, formerly known as Big Hit Entertainment, is the collective mastermind behind BTS, the K-pop boy band that is currently a bigger thing than sliced bread could ever hope to be. While BTS’ popularity has already expanded well beyond the borders of South Korea, with their songs and events regularly trending on western Twitter, HYBE has mostly kept its business dealings on its home turf. That, however, has just changed in a big way.
According to a regulatory filing from Seoul released today, HYBE is purchasing a controlling stake in western media group Ithaca Holdings LLC., headed by Scooter Braun, which features such big name western talents as Justin Bieber and Arianna Grande. HYBE will be investing 1.07 trillion won (about $950 million) into a near-complete acquisition of Ithaca and, presumably, all talents contained within. Braun will be joining HYBE’s board of directors in the transition, and one of the group’s largest minority stakeholders, Carlyle Group, will be selling off their investment entirely.
HYBE, the home of BTS, is acquiring Scooter Braun’s Ithaca Holdings — including SB Projects and Big Machine Label Group https://t.co/CDreNL5Wst
— billboard (@billboard) April 2, 2021
Braun has repeatedly praised HYBE’s managing of BTS and their related business, saying that their merger with Ithaca would create “exponential” opportunities for all of their existing artists, as well as any new artists that join down the line. HYBE’s Chairman and CEO, Bang Si-Hyuk, seemed pretty enthused by the prospect of Ithaca joining up with them, calling the deal an “inevitable joining.”
If HYBE’s handling of BTS’ collective career is any indication, this could be quite the profitable shift for Ithaca’s artists. After all, it was under HYBE’s management that BTS topped the Billboard Hot 100 last year and became the first Asian group to top American charts since 1963.