Hybe to Acquire K-Pop Agency Belift Lab in $114 Million Deal

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K-pop HYBE Belift Lab

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Photo Credit: Hybe / Belift Lab

Hybe, the Korean pop music company behind BTS, has acquired its partner Belift Lab, the firm behind K-pop group Enhypen, in a $114 million deal.

Hybe Corp., the major Korean pop music company behind groups such as BTS, has acquired Belift Lab, the firm behind another popular K-pop group, Enhypen. On Thursday, Hybe confirmed the 150 billion KRW ($114 million) buyout, purchasing CJ ENM’s 51.5% share of Belift Lab and making it a wholly-owned HYBE subsidiary.

“Owning a 100% stake in Belift Lab marks a significant step forward in Hybe’s strategic, multi-label structure, expanding its content and artist portfolio even further,” Hybe said in a statement.

“Hybe will provide unparalleled support for Belift Lab and its artists,” said Park Jiwon, CEO of Hybe. “We will continue to pursue a partnership with CJ ENM on further promoting K-culture.”

Founded in September 2018 to nurture and manage the newly-debuting boy band that would become Enhypen, Belift Lab has represented the group since their official debut in November 2020. The band’s latest album, “Dark Blood,” sold 1.32 million copies in its release week last May, while their previous album, “Manifesto: Day 1,” sold 1.24 million copies within its first week, then a record for the band.

Enhypen is on their “Fate” world tour and scheduled to hold two concerts in Osaka on September 2 and 3 and Tokyo on September 13 and 14. Belift Lab is currently working on debuting a new girl group in partnership with the Korean cable channel JTBC.

To diversify and expand its entertainment offerings beyond BTS, which accounted for most of Hybe’s business upon its launch on the Korean stock market in 2020, Hybe has bought several other labels. While these have primarily been Korean labels, Hybe’s first international acquisition happened in 2022 with the purchase of Scooter Braun’s Ithaca Holdings.

Hybe now includes Ador, Belift Lab, Bighit Music, Koz Entertainment, Pledis Entertainment, Source Music, and Hybe Labels Japan and Naeco. Hybe also manages affiliate labels via Hybe America, including Big Machine Label Group.