SME releases video with CFO Jang Cheol Hyuk denouncing HYBE’s ‘hostile takeover’, outlines reasoning

Wishes do come true, as SM Entertainment has continued to fight their internal war through YouTube videos of all things, this time with the Align Partners and Lee Sung Soo side of things denouncing HYBE‘s takeover through CFO Jang Cheol Hyuk*.

*They’re running out everybody, man. By the end of the year, we’re getting intern takes in hostage videos.

The 15-minute video details their opposition with HYBE’s takeover, which they frame as against the efforts of SME employees and also against the pride of the company.

The reasoning essentially boils down to the takeover by HYBE representing a return to the past of Lee Soo Man through dominating the board with his people, that the advantages of the merger are for HYBE shareholders not SME shareholders or K-pop at large, that SME artists will suffer due to uncertainty and lack of priority, pointing out that the merger would be anti-competitive in nature and bad for K-pop, that HYBE evaded an FTC (Fair Trade Commission) review and thus SME’s value would be diminished, and that the company employees are against the deal.

Speaking of the employees, a group of 208 of them voiced their concerns about the takeover. Though it’s maybe well intentioned, the statement itself came off as weirdly cultish.

That last part seems like this is some fairy tale or they are talking about an excommunicated cult member or something. So many K-pop companies and their fandoms use the ‘blood’ thing and it’s always weird.


Anyway, hope you’re enjoying the latest chapter in the SME drama.

Honestly, there’s no good option to root for in this, at least for people like you and me. Anything anti-competitive is bad for the consumer and there’s going to be a merger one way or another, but if you’re a fan of an SME group you’re probably best off going with whatever option will result in Lee Soo Man having less influence within the company in the end.


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