According to reports from the Korean media, Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.—one of the biggest media and entertainment companies in the United States—may be investing almost $450 million USD into HYBE, formerly known as Big Hit Entertainment.
In a new report, Herald Economy states Korean investment bankers have revealed that Warner Bros. is in the process of making equity investments into HYBE totaling up to ₩500 billion KRW (about $443 million USD).
Warner Bros will allegedly make the investment through a third party, which investors believe to be HBO Max, an on-demand streaming service with 37.7 million subscribers. As such, it’s expected that HBO Max could be granted exclusive rights to HYBE artists’ content, including concerts and documentaries from BTS, TXT, and more. HBO Max and Warner Bros. are both assets of the AT&T-owned mass media conglomerate WarnerMedia.
The reports surfaced shortly before HYBE announced it will officially merge with Scooter Braun’s investment company Ithaca Holdings. Ithaca Holdings is the owner of SB Projects, the management company behind Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, Demi Lovato, and more.
Based on HYBE’s market capitalization of ₩8.51 trillion KRW (about $7.54 billion USD) when reports of the Warner Bros. investment were published, the investment would represent a 5.9% share in the company, with CEO Bang Si Hyuk owning a 34.7% stake. However, these stock figures have not yet been adjusted to account for HYBE’s acquisition of Ithaca Holdings.