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Tencent-backed Maoyan divests W22b YG Entertainment stake

Blackpink (YG Entertainment)
Blackpink (YG Entertainment)
Tencent-backed online movie ticket booking platform Maoyan Entertainment has unloaded its stake in YG Entertainment worth a combined 22.1 billion won ($19.2 million) since August, disclosures showed Sunday.

The selloff reduced the Chinese company’s control over South Korea‘s major entertainment powerhouse -- home to K-pop groups Big Bang, Blackpink and the newly-debuted Treasure -- to 5.78 percent, from the previous 8.09 percent.

In September alone, Maoyan divested a combined 1.17 percent of common shares in YG Entertainment for at least 58,000 won each, which was higher than the purchasing price in 2016, at 44,000 won per share, disclosures also showed. In its August divestment, the sales price ranged from 48,000 won to 52,000 won each.

This comes after YG’s stock price hit its highest point in five years, in hopes that its robust digital music business -- largely supported by Blackpink and Treasure -- might boost its profits this year despite the coronavirus hurdles. Meritz Securities analyst Lee Hyo-jin projected YG Entertainment operating profit to stand at 8.5 billion won in 2020, up over eightfold from a year prior.

Weiying Technology, a rival to Maoyan, obtained YG shares in 2016 with Chinese media giant Tencent for $85 million. Weiying was merged into Maoyan a year later.

Maoyan still owns a YG Entertainment minority stake via Shanghai Fengying Business Consultant Partnership, a 100 percent-owned special purpose company. Tang Xiaoming, executive director in China Cultural Industry Investment Fund, will represent the SPC as a YG external board member until March 2022.

By Son Ji-hyoung (consnow@heraldcorp.com)
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