[THE INVESTOR] Kakao M, the entertainment unit of Korea’s top mobile messenger operator, announced on Jan. 2 that it has acquired four local entertainment firms for around 50 billion won (US$44.30 million).
The firm bought 30 percent stake in BH Entertainment and J Wide-Company in September, and recently acquired the remaining shares for 18.9 billion won and 5.95 billion won, respectively. BH Entertainment is known for managing top actors, including Lee Byung-hun and Han Ga-in.
Kakao M CEO Kim Sung-soo
Kakao’s entertainment unit, which had 30 percent stake in Ready Entertainment, also bought all the remaining shares for 11.11 billion won in December. In addition, it has invested 14 billion won in Soop Entertainment, which manages top actors like Jeon Do-yeon and Gong Yoo, to acquire 99.36 percent stake.
“With our strength, growth potential and business portfolio in music and video content business, we aim to become the top company in cultural contents market,” Kakao M CEO Kim Sung-soo said in a statement.
The company added that its current video production units -- Krispy Studio and Mega Monster -- will be able to create synergies through the recent acquisition as it will make the casting process easier.
The management of the four entertainment firms will remain the same even after acquisition.
As for market speculation that Kakao M plans to sell its contents to global video platform operator Netflix, like CJ ENM’s drama production subsidiary Studio Dragon, the company said it has no specific plans yet.
“For now, we plan to make short mobile dramas for our own online platform Kakao TV and sell longer dramas to TV broadcasting firms,” a spokesperson told The Investor.
By Song Seung-hyun (firstname.lastname@example.org)