According to a new press release, HYBE (formerly known to most K-Pop fans as Big Hit Entertainment) is officially merging with Ithaca Holdings, the media and entertainment investment company founded by Scooter Braun.
Published today, the deal states that HYBE will acquire all shares of Big Hit America, worth ₩1.70 trillion KRW (about $1.51 billion USD) and merge with Ithaca Holdings, making Ithaca Holdings a subsidiary of HYBE America. HYBE and its subsidiary company currently manage some of the biggest artists in K-Pop, including BTS, TXT, SEVENTEEN, NU’EST, GFRIEND, and ENHYPEN.
Alongside attracting media attention in 2019 for purchasing Taylor Swift’s music catalog in a $300 million USD deal, Ithaca Holdings is also the owner of SB Projects—the entertainment company which manages Ariana Grande, Justin Bieber, Demi Lovato, and more. Founder Scooter Braun will join the board of HYBE, and it’s said that artists under both companies will work to strengthen their ties and increase their capital.
HYBE’s chairman and CEO Bang Si Hyuk states that the merging of HYBE and Ithaca Holdings “marks that start of a new adventure for both companies”, and that they intend to work together to create synergy and dismantle cultural barriers.
The two companies will work closely together leveraging our proven track records of success, know – how, and expertise to create synergy, transcend borders and break down cultural barriers. Please look forward to the endless possibilities of HYBE and Ithaca Holdings, and the new paradigm the partnership will establish in the music industry.
— Bang Si Hyuk
In his own statement, Scooter Braun referred to Bang Si Hyuk as a friend and someone who supports the creative journeys of artists. He explained that this partnership will grow global opportunities for artists exponentially, adding that the two companies intend to revolutionize the music industry together.
This will be the first time HYBE’s groundbreaking systems and curation will be integrated in the U.S. market at the onset of an artist’s career. Plus, it will help us to continue to further the careers of the artists we already work with… This is an opportuni ty for us to make history and further innovate the music industry and revolutionize the game itself. Its implications for the business will be monumentous for a long time to come.
— Scooter Braun
Allison Kaye, a partner at Ithaca Holdings, commented, “We are ecstatic to… further the global reach of both companies and the artists with whom we have the privilege of working as we continue to grow our company and their careers across entertainment, technology, commerce and content.” Meanwhile, SB Projects’s general manager Jen McDaniels described the partnership as “a unique and fortuitous joining of forces“.
The news comes shortly after Korean media reports that Warner Bros. may be investing around $450 million USD into HYBE.