BTS, Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande to be under one roof in $1.05 billion mega deal

Published April 3, 2021, 2:25 PM

by Jonathan Hicap

(Clockwise from top left) BTS, Justin Bieber, Seventeen, Demi Lovato, TXT and Ariana Grande (Twitter, Instagram) 

K-pop idol group BTS and pop stars Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande and Demi Lovato will become under one management after Hybe, the former Big Hit Entertainment, acquired a 100 percent stake in Ithaca Holdings, which was founded by Scooter Braun in 2013, for $1.05 billion.

The agency of BTS is expanding its empire and the deal will provide artist management, label services and publishing for K-pop artists BTS, TXT, Seventeen, NU’EST, ENHYPEN, GFriend and Zico, and Bieber, Grande, Lovato, J Balvin, Thomas Rhett, Florida Georgia Line and Lady A.

Hybe acquired Ithaca Holdings through its subsidiary, Big Hit America. Under Ithaca Holdings are Braun’s SB Projects, Big Machine Label Group, Mythos Studios and 100 Thieves Gaming.

The acquisition of Ithaca Holdings will expedite the entry of Hybe artists in the US market, according to a press statement.

Other artists under Braun include K-pop star CL, Black Eyed Peas, Dan + Shay and Idina Menzel.

On April 1, Hybe decided to spin off Big Hit Music into a new corporation, according to the company’s corporate filing.

In its corporate filing, Hybe noted that the company has a high dependence on BTS when it came to sales. In 2020, BTS accounted for 84.7 percent, or 674.57 billion won (about $597 million), of the company’s sales, . In 2019, BTS accounted for 97.4 percent of the company’s sales, or 571.84 billion won (about $506 million).

Sales include albums, digital music, concerts, advertisements and appearance fees, merchandise, videos and fan club memberships.

Hybe stated that in order to prevent a reduction in sales, it signed an early renewal of contract with BTS in 2018 and the idol group’s new contract will be until 2024.

The company also listed the expiration of the contracts of its other artists. According to Hybe, TXT’s contract will expire in 2026, Seventeen and NU’EST in 2022, GFriend in 2021 and Zico in 2027.

Braun will join the board of Hybe and Scott Borchetta will remain CEO of Big Machine Label Group.

Hybe will also issue new shares to Braun, Borchetta and their artists. Braun will have 462,380 shares while Borchetta will receive 166,537 shares. Grande and Bieber will get 53,557 shares each.

“The inevitable joining of Hybe and Ithaca Holdings marks the start of a new adventure no one could have possibly imagined. 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,” said Hybe chairman and CEO Bang Si-hyuk, the largest shareholder in the company.

Braun said, “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. I am incredibly grateful for Chairman Bang’s friendship and his willingness to support the creative journey of an artist.”

 
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