SM Entertainment’s former Chief Producer Lee Soo Man has his name tangled in a lot of news lately. Aside from the internal issues in SM, a few weeks ago, HYBE acquired a 14.8% stake in SM Entertainment from Lee Soo Man. This former news stirs online discussions on social media on what would happen with its artists. Earlier today, February 22, HYBE’s CEO Park Jiwon shared an open letter about the share acquisition in SM, and some fans may have taken that unhappily.

HYBE and SM’s Lee Soo Man share acquisition

HYBE and SM share acquisition, lee soo man
Image Courtesy of Asian Junkie, HYBE

This SM and HYBE story began with SM’s former CEO, Lee Soo Man. On February 10, 2023, news popped out that HYBE inked a deal with Soo Man about the latter’s stakes in SM. The SM founder’s shares in the entertainment would be the biggest among all the shareholders.

  • HYBE acquired the 14.8% stake of Lee Soo Man in SM Entertainment for 422.8 billion won, approximately $334.3 million. With this share acquisition, Lee Soo Man remains to have around 3.66% stakes in SM Entertainment.
  • Now that HYBE confirms that they have acquired the stakes, what happens next to the entertainment?

HYBE’s letter on SM stakes

Image Courtesy of allkpop

Through a letter posted on HYBE’s official social media accounts, CEO Jiwon Park shared that the acquisition of the 14.8% stakes was completed today. This marks the company to be the largest shareholder in SM Entertainment.

  • Moreover, CEO Park mentions the shared similarities of both entertainment in corporate philosophy and synergy. HYBE and SM closely interconnect as the former’s mission is “we believe in music” and the latter’s goal is “to leap forward as a fan- and shareholder-centered global entertainment company”.

  • Jiwon Park also shares the experiences that both entertainment can share. This includes HYBE’s growing popularity globally such as in the United States, South America, and India, while SM’s fame in China, Japan, and Southeast Asia.
  • HYBE and SM also have huge fandom platforms, Weverse and Bubble, respectively. They would aim to get beyond South Korea and reach and “compete in the global arena.”
  • Lastly, HYBE’s CEO talked about the underlying worries of fans, shareholders, and artists of and under SM Entertainment. Park assures that HYBE fully respects the laid-out plans and growth strategy for SM 3.0.

Fans’ reactions

Certainly, most of the fans’ reactions we stumbled upon on Twitter weren’t great. Some were displeased, and other fandoms took into the bluebird application all their thoughts. Some mention how HYBE shares the same sentiments with the acquisition of other companies years ago.

  • A few years ago, HYBE started acquiring companies, including LE SSERAFIM’s company, SOURCE MUSIC (SouMu). Before the 4th generation girl group, queens of synchronization, the girl group GFRIEND was under SouMu. However, after HYBE’s acquisition, the 3rd generation disbanded which caught fans off-guard. This led fans to assume that HYBE initiated the disbandment.

  • Another incident, PLEDIS Entertainment, the home of boy group SEVENTEEN and girl group fromis_9, after HYBE’s acquisition disbanded NU’EST. Both incidents led to their fans speaking out about this HYBE and SM acquisition deal.

  • At this point, fans tweets and trend two hashtags for SM to hear their thoughts about this news. #PLEASE_LISTEN_TO_US and #LISTEN_TO_YOUR_FANS on Twitter continue to reach different countries with fans expressing their dismay at this happening.

Other reactions

On the other hand, some fans don’t believe that HYBE has a hand in these disbandments. Some fans choose to seek the side of HYBE having visual representations of how HYBE has no control over music and content production.

  • Both fans’ sides can be understandable. We just hope that everything will work out well for the artists of HYBE and SM in the following days and years ahead.

What are your thoughts about this HYBE and SM share acquisition? Do you think there would be any difference in SM Entertainment’s management?

RELATED NEWS: Did Lee Soo Man delay SM’s aespa’s Comeback?

Also, share with us your thoughts about this HYBE acquiring SM Entertainment below. If you have any questions about K-pop, you can share them too. Until then, stay with us here at Spiel Times for more content.

Make sure you share, subscribe to our push notifications, and never miss an update from the world of video games, cinema, and sports. You can also follow us on Twitter @spieltimes for the latest PS5 restock and drop. Stay Safe and Happy Gaming!

Fond of writing poetry and reading. Zeane keeps herself sane through Kpop, and a bit of purchasing the albums too. She enjoys taking photos, most of the time the moon and sunsets. Zeane casually plays CoDM, rhythm games, or just whatever she finds interesting in the application stores, just a piece of gaming info right there.