Hybe Corp buys out partner in Enhypen-backer Belift Lab

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Hybe Corp, the South Korean entertainment company behind K-pop giant BTS, has bought out its partner in Belift Lab, the company that backs fellow K-pop favourite, Enhypen.

According to a report from Variety, the company said it has signed an agreement to acquire media and entertainment firm CJ ENM’s 51.5% stake in Belift. 

Belift Lab was launched in 2018 as a joint venture between Hybe and CJ ENM, to manufacture and promote idol groups. 

In November 2020, the seven-member boyband Enhypen emerged from reality TV show I-Land, with the band’s latest album ‘Dark Blood’ debuting in fourth place on the Billboard 200. 

Hybe said in a statement to Variety: “Owning a 100% stake in Belift Lab marks a significant step forward in Hybe’s strategic multi-label structure, expanding its content and artist portfolio even further.”

Deal terms have not been disclosed. 

Since launching on the Korean stock market in October 2020, Hybe went on to acquire other labels in Korea. In 2022, it branched out internationally and bought US music executive and entrepreneur Scooter Braun’s Ithaca Holdings. 

Hybe’s different labels now include Belift Lab, Bighit Music, Source Music, Pledis Entertainment, Koz Entertainment, Ador, Hybe Labels Japan and Naeco. Hybe America further manages affiliate labels such as Big Machine Label Group. 

Earlier this year, Hybe attempted to purchase a larger stake in SM Entertainment after buying an initial 14.8% share. However, South Korean internet giant Kakao launched a tender offer to acquire up to 35% of SM Entertainment for 150,000 won (£89/€103/$113) per share. 

Hybe then accepted a tender offer from Kakao to purchase its 15.8% stake in SM Entertainment, pocketing roughly $87m from the sale. 

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