Justin Bieber has been sold to the Koreans.
Bieber’s manager, Scooter Braun, has sold his company, Ithaca Holdings, to the group that owns South Korean boy band BTS, HYBE.
“Global opportunities for artists become exponential with this partnership,”Braun said. “This is an opportunity for us to make history and further innovate the music industry.”
“The two companies will work closely together leveraging our proven track records of success, know-how, and expertise to create synergy, transcend borders and break down cultural barriers,” said HYBE chairman and CEO Bang Si-Hyuk.
HYBE now also owns Scott Borchetta’s Big Machine Records, although Borchetta will continue to run it.
Braun’s artists besides Bieber include Ariana Grande, Demi Lovato, and Tori Kelly.
The Carlyle Group, which invested in Ithaca Holdings four years ago, will sell off its minority stake as part of the deal.
HYBE was known until last October as Big Hit Entertainment. That’s when they went public.
Braun made the sale at the right time. The generation for his stars is coming to an end. Bieber’s sales are down, and there is no touring right now. When touring resumes, he’ll be able to package Bieber and Grande well beyond their record sales life, as well as combine them with BTS when their era cools off.