HYBE, the South Korean entertainment company formerly known as Big Hit Entertainment, has acquired Scooter Braun’s Ithaca Holdings.
The merger, as first reported by Variety, brings acts like Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, and Demi Lovato under the same umbrella as BTS, TXT, Seventeen, and other K-pop stars managed by HYBE.
Under terms of the deal, HYBE will acquire 100% of Ithaca Holdings and its properties, including SB Projects, Big Machine Label Group, and Braun’s management clients.
“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 in a statement. “Please look forward to the endless possibilities of HYBE and Ithaca Holdings, and the new paradigm the partnership will establish in the music industry.”
“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,” added Braun in his own statement. “Plus, it will help us to continue to further the careers of the artists we already work with. Global opportunities for artists become exponential with this partnership. This is an opportunity for us to make history and further innovate the music industry and revolutionize the game itself.”
The deal does not include the master rights to Taylor Swift’s first six albums, which were obtained by Ithaca through Braun’s acquisition of Big Machine Label Group, only to then be sold to The Caryle Group amid a public spat between Braun and Swift. As part of the HYBE transaction, the Carlyle Group will sell off its minority stake in Ithaca Holdings.
Big Hit Entertainment rebranded itself as HYBE earlier this year in an effort to position itself as a company whose services expand beyond artist management. The company went public in October 2020 with a $820 million offering that was South Korea’s largest in three years.