K-pop powerhouse HYBE has announced that it has reached an agreement with tech giant Kakao to end their takeover battle for SM Entertainment. Under the new arrangement, HYBE will maintain its management control while collaborating with Kakao on platforms.
HYBE stated that it had considered the negative impact of the heated competition between HYBE and Kakao, which ultimately led to the decision to halt the takeover process. The label also cited Kakao’s additional open-market purchase as a factor that drove the proposed acquisition price beyond a reasonable range.
As a result, the internal directors HYBE previously announced will step down at the upcoming SM shareholder meeting scheduled for the end of this month.
Kakao, on the other hand, plans to proceed with its scheduled open-market purchase of SM Entertainment shares until the 26th. The conglomerate has emphasized its commitment to respecting the independent operation of SM’s strong assets, including employees, artists, and fandoms, while supporting the agency’s future vision and global growth strategy, including SM 3.0.
After a period of intense confrontation, HYBE and Kakao entered negotiations on March 10th, which led to a sudden agreement on the morning of March 12th.