HYBE paid Lee Soo Man additional ~$50+ million for stake in SME subsidiaries, will fund LSM’s tree planting project

In the latest episode of As SM Entertainment Turns, it’s being reported that HYBE had purchased SME subsidiaries belonging to Lee Soo Man for an additional ~$55 million around the same time they bought LSM’s stake in the company. Additionally, they signed a contract to provide ~$8 million over the next decade to plant trees, which will be led by LSM.

It was revealed that HYBE bought Lee Soo Man’s stake in SM Entertainment and paid Lee an additional 70 billion KRW (~53.3 million USD) for his stake in SM Entertainment’s subsidiaries. 
It has recently become known that HYBE has signed a contract to support Lee Soo Man’s ‘Tree Planting’ project by giving a total of 10 billion KRW (~7.64 million USD) over the next 10 years. It is expected that the controversy over Lee Soo Man receiving a premium from HYBE and negatively affecting the minority shareholders will continue to grow.

Some people in the industry are unhappy with these details, as they feel HYBE are effectively paying a premium for Lee Soo Man’s support at the risk of either SME’s or HYBE’s stock prices in the future.

According to the stock purchase agreement (SPA) between HYBE and Lee Soo Man obtained by the Seoul Economic Daily on March 2, HYBE acquired the shares belonging to Lee Soo Man, including Dream Maker and SM Brand Marketing shares, which are subsidiaries of SM Entertainment, for a total of 70 billion KRW. HYBE’s purchase of shares in a subsidiary owned by Lee Soo Man was revealed when the contract details were disclosed last month, but this is the first time that the specific acquisition amount has been revealed.
Lee Soo Man, his children, and other related people owned 24.14% of Dream Maker and 42.31% of SM Brand Marketing, but SM Entertainment is the largest shareholder in all of these companies. Dream Maker has been in charge of the production and planning of concerts, and SM Brand Marketing has been in charge of producing and distributing concert merchandise. SM Brand Marketing is a company with total assets of 28.8 billion KRW (~21.9 million USD) as of the end of 2021 consolidated financial statements. Sales were 45.2 billion KRW (~34.37 million USD), and operating profit was 6.3 billion KRW (~4.8 million USD).

Honestly, this isn’t at all surprising, as anybody who thought Lee Soo Man wasn’t getting some incentive to side with HYBE in this was just deluded. But I wanted to post about it because I’m finding out there are indeed people who are deluded enough to think anybody involved in this is different or special from the other.

Wonder if we are at least getting weed casinos in music cities now at least.


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