Apr 2, 2021 - Economy

South Korean entertainment giant HYBE buys Scooter Braun's Ithaca Holdings

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

HYBE (f.k.a. Big Hit), the South Korean entertainment group whose artists include BTS, agreed to buy Ithaca Holdings, the music and entertainment firm founded and led by Scooter Braun.

Why it matters: This is Ithaca taking another giant step away from its high-profile spat with Taylor Swift, and creates a global music management and production powerhouse. Plus, it could bestow some K-Pop cred on Ithaca artists like Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande.

Details: Axios has learned the deal values Ithaca north of $1 billion, with minority Ithaca investor The Carlyle Group to exit completely. Braun will join the HYBE board, while Scott Borchetta will continue to be CEO of record label subsidiary Big Machine.

Music bonus: Axios Re:Cap spoke with Steve Stoute, CEO of UnitedMasters, the music distribution platform that just raised cash from Apple (in part to disintermediate groups like HYBE and Ithaca). Take a listen.

Bottom line: "BTS and Bieber alone bring dedicated fanbases numbering in the hundreds of millions, while Grande recently surpassed 90 billion streams consumed worldwide." — Shirley Halperin & Patrick Frater, Variety

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