The South Korean entertainment company, formerly known as Big Hit Entertainment, said Friday that it was buying Ithaca Holdings, bringing together both companies’ broad range of services, including management, label services and publishing, to create an impressive roster of marquee K-pop groups and U.S. pop superstars. The move ultimately is meant to help the Korean company establish a strong U.S. presence in music and entertainment while also heightening its profile for American financial investors. The deal is expected to close in May.
In a new promotional video from HYBE and Ithaca Holdings released on Monday (April 5), BTS, Bieber, J Balvin, Demi Lovato and Seventeen congratulate Braun and HYBE founder and CEO Bang Si-Hyuk on their new deal. BTS’ RM expressed excitement over “so many artists that we cherish and love” joining their family. BTS’ Suga and J-Hope discussed their appreciation for the “endless opportunities” and said they hope to “grow and share positive influence with all the artists” and to give their fans around the world “a fresh experience and be a source of new joy.”
“It feels like the world is getting more connected and even smaller,” RM noted. SEVENTEEN’s Seungkwan echoed that later on in the nine-and-a-half-minute clip, when he said, “I believe joining forces of these two companies shows that we can become one with music beyond language, country and culture.”
J Balvin sent his love back to BTS, saying, “This is going to be on another level. Such amazing vibes.”
As part of HYBE’s $1.05 billion deal to buy Ithaca Holdings, Braun is paying more than $40 million in equity to artists and staff members out of his stake. A total of 39 people will receive shares about $161 million , based on the current exchange rate, while Braun gets 462,380 shares ($86.2 million). Of his artists, the company filing states Grande and Bieber will each receive 53,557 shares, or almost $11 million apiece; Balvin will get 21,423 shares ($4.1 million); and Lovato will receive 5,355 shares ($1.06 million).
“The prospects of working together with these amazing teams and stepping further into the global music scene is very exciting,” Bieber said in the video. “I’m thrilled at the potential this alliance holds. Kudos to the teams. … Let’s make history together.”
Artists absent from the video include TOMORROW X TOGETHER from the HYBE side; Ariana Grande, Quavo, Tori Kelly, Dan + Shay and Carly Rae Jepsen from Braun’s roster; and any of the artists under Big Machine Label Group, which was acquired by Braun’s Ithaca Holdings along with Taylor Swift’s master recordings, including Florida Georgia Line, Carly Pearce, Lady A, Rascal Flatts, Sugarland, Sheryl Crow, Thomas Rhett and Tim McGraw.
Watch HYBE and Ithaca Holdings’ latest welcome announcement below.