SM Stock Plummets, Bang Si-hyuk and Kakao Worry as Lee Soo-man Laughs

On January 30, a topic titled “Lee Soo-man is the winner” was published on the Korean forum “theqoo”, drawing over 80,000 views and over 300 comments. 

The topic cited an article from Naver, which analyzed that Lee Soo-man is the ultimate winner in the HYBE vs Kakao “acquisition war”, which attracted huge attention in 2023. 

bang si hyuk

In particular, the article stated that Kakao has invested around 1.2 trillion won (approx 900 million USD) to acquire SM Entertainment – double the initial asking price. However, the conglomerate soon fell into crisis as they faced charges of price manipulation and scandals revolving around SM’s management. To specify, SM’s executives are suspected of having bought a private company related to them with a hefty sum, without the agreement of SM’s largest stockholder, Kakao. 

Meanwhile, HYBE (led by Bang Si-hyuk) spent over 400 billion won (approx 300 million USD) during the HYBE vs Kakao “acquisition war”. At the time, HYBE purchased 15.68% of SM’s stock from Lee Soo-man at 120,000 won per stock, but the stock price, which used to peak at 160,000 won, has now fallen to 78,000 won. 

HYBe previously sold some of its SM stock to Kakao at 150,000 won per stock, but still hold the majority of the previously purchased stock. Now that SM’s stock price is plummeting and is likely to continue to fall in the future, HYBE will suffer heavy losses. 

In the end, Lee Soo-man, who managed to sell his share at a high price, emerged as the “winner”. 

Below are some comments from netizens: 

  • Lee Soo-man is the only winner…
  • SM should have just accepted being bought by HYBE. Kakao pulled an all-out to acquire SM but now look at what happened LOL
  • Lee Soo-man earned a big sum and ran away happily 
  • SM has no prominent artists like back in the day with Super Junior, TVXQ, Girls’ Generation, EXO, and SHINee, so of course the stock price is falling 
  • Another article said that Kakao is furious at the current SM management and is planning to kick them out
  • If only they listened to Lee Soo-man… The artists would benefit from joining HYBE 

Source: Naver, theqoo

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