HYBE is reportedly in talks with investors to raise around $380 million (500 billion won) to fund acquisitions outside of the South Korean entertainment market, according to a report by Bloomberg.
The agency and entertainment company is exploring taking on strategic and financial investments in exchange for equity, the outlet reported Thursday, citing sources who said the timeline and amount sought in the fundraise may yet change.
A spokesperson for HYBE did not immediately respond to a request for comment, and Billboard has not independently verified the report.
HYBE’s leadership said it began fundraising talks earlier this year as the company works to diversify its roster of talent beyond BTS, the world’s biggest boy band. BTS is currently on hiatus while its eldest member, Jin, completes South Korea’s mandatory military service.
In February, HYBE acquired Atlanta hip-hop label and management firm Quality Control for $300 million, adding to its 2021 acquisition of Scooter Braun’s Ithaca Holdings for around $400 million. HYBE executives have also signaled they are eyeing acquisition targets in the Latin music market.
HYBE has courted controversy in recent months with its failed takeover of rival Korean entertainment company SM Entertainment, eventually bowing out in late March with an announcement that it was selling its roughly 15% stake for nearly 564 billion won ($435 million) to Kakao.
Earlier this week, South Korea media reported that three HYBE employees could be prosecuted for insider trading for allegedly using non-public information about BTS’ planned hiatus before the news was given to investors. South Koreas’s public securities regulatory the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) said the employees allegedly sold HYBE shares after learning that BTS would go on hiatus but before the group announced its plans to the public on June 14, 2022. The employees made an estimated 230 million KRW ($173,000) through the trades, according to reports.