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SM Entertainment Expands with Two New Acquisitions

Mar 28, 2018
  • Writer by Christopher Weatherspoon
  • View5296
Media Giant Acquires Major Stake in Keyeast, FNC Add Culture

SM Entertainment (SM) has acquired a controlling stake in one of the largest actor management companies in South Korea.

On March 14, SM Entertainment revealed in a regulatory filing that it had acquired BAE Yong-joon's talent management agency Keyeast through a purchase of stocks worth KRW 50 billion (USD $46 million). The transaction gives SM Entertainment a 25.12% stake in Keyeast and makes Keyeast’s BAE Yong-joon a major shareholder of SM. BAE, who in addition to being the founder and a major shareholder in Keyeast, is also the agency's Chief Strategy Officer. He is expected to remain and act as a global strategy adviser for marketing and contribute to establishing and promoting global business strategies for the SM Entertainment Group.

Through the takeover, SM has also acquired Digital Adventure (DA), which is a Japan-based subsidiary of Keyeast and a major platform for Hallyu (Korean Wave) content. SM is expected to build DA, which already boasts a strong online presence, into one of Asia’s top platforms for new media and mobile content.

In a separate transaction, SM Entertainment also purchased a 30.51% stake in FNC Add Culture for KRW 30 billion (USD 28 million) to become the company's largest shareholder. FNC Add Culture, which also manages talent, and produces TV dramas, reality shows and other content in addition to running a high-quality printing business. 

The synergy between SM Entertainment, Keyeast, and FNC Add Culture is expected to establish SM Entertainment Group as a major content producer, with the deal giving the company access to a large roster of talented actors, TV series production capabilities, and a well established digital content delivery platform.   

Along with YG Entertainment and JYP Entertainment, SM Entertainment is one of the largest talent agencies in South Korea. SM operates a record label, music publishing and event company in addition to a talent agency that manages popular singers and idol groups such as BoA, Super Junior, f(x), SHINee, EXO and Red Velvet.
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