Another conglomerate plans to jump into Kakao and HYBE’s SM acquisition battle
Apart from Kakao and HYBE, another large corporation has stepped up to acquire SM Entertainment.
On February 14th, the Seoul Economic Daily exclusively reported that CJ Group is considering entering the current battle for the acquisition of SM Entertainment at the suggestion of Kakao. If CJ Group participates in the stake purchase, the dispute over SM management rights is expected to intensify with the new formation of “Kakao+CJ+SM’s current CEOs” vs “HYBE+Lee Soo Man”.
According to the report, CJ Group is discussing with related affiliates the conditions proposed by Kakao to participate in the acquisition of SM shares. CJ and Kakao are planning to acquire up to 19.9% of SM shares through a paid-in capital increase or tender offer.
Earlier on February 10th, HYBE announced its intention to publicly buy 25% of SM shares at 120,000 won per share after joining hands with Lee Soo Man and becoming the largest shareholder of SM by securing 14.8% of SM shares from him. If CJ Group stars a tender offer, the price is expected to be higher than HYBE’s proposal of 120,000 won.
In fact, CJ’s affiliate CJ ENM has already shown interest in acquiring SM since 2021 when former executive producer Lee Soo Man began selling his shares. However, CJ reportedly had conflicted opinions with Lee Soo Man.
However, it is still unknown whether CJ will jump into the acquisition battle, considering CJ ENM’s current financial situation.