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SM Entertainment Cancels Share Issue To Kakao As K-Pop Corporate Battle Intensifies

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The K-Pop world is currently going through one of its biggest ever corporate dramas, with SM Entertainment, the label of BoA, Girls Generation, EXO and Super Junior, fighting off what its management is describing as a hostile takeover from its rival HYBE, home of BTS.

In the latest development, SM Entertainment said today that it was cancelling a share issue to Korean tech giant Kakao Corp and its Kakao Entertainment subsidiary, in a move that appeared to be an attempt to limit HYBE’s influence.

A court in Seoul said on Friday (March 3) that it was upholding an injunction sought by SM Entertainment’s former chief producer, Lee Soo Man, against the proposal that would have given the Kakao companies a 9.05% shareholding in SM Entertainment, along with an exclusive distribution contract.

If the deal had gone through, it would have made Kakao the second largest shareholder in SM Entertainment behind HYBE. HYBE announced last month that it was acquiring a 14.8% stake in SM Entertainment, in a deal that makes it the entertainment giant’s largest shareholder.

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