BTS company HYBE ends takeover battle for Okay-pop pioneer SM Leisure

BTS agency HYBE ends takeover battle for K-pop pioneer SM Entertainment

Hong Kong/Seoul

BTS agency HYBE says it has called off a takeover bid for SM Entertainment, ending weeks of corporate mudslinging that has dominated headlines in South Korea.

HYBE said Sunday it made its decision “after observing that the market has been showing signs of overheating due to competition with both Kakao and Kakao Entertainment.”

“The company has also taken into account the potential negative impact on HYBE’s shareholder value,” it said in a statement to CNN.

Last week, tech giant Kakao and its entertainment unit said they had doubled down on their quest to take control of SM, the iconic K-pop music agency. They sought to buy up to 35% of the music label, just days after a previous share sale agreement between the two parties was blocked by a South Korean court.

Kakao offered SM shareholders 150,000 won ($115) per share, much…