Kakao Entertainment logo (Kakao Entertainment)
Korea’s top comedian Yoo Jae-suk became a shareholder of Kakao Entertainment, the agency said Tuesday.
“Yoo Jae-suk participated in the agency’s most recent capital increase, largely to strengthen his trust-based partnership with Yu Hee-yeol,” a Kakao Entertainment official said.
Yu, CEO of K-pop agency Antenna, had invested 7 billion won ($5.9 million) in Kakao Entertainment after selling all the shares of his own company. Yu currently holds 0.07 percent of Kakao Entertainment, according to the agency’s announcement via the Financial Supervisory Service’s electronic disclosure board.
The agency will not be disclosing the exact amount of Yoo’s shares to protect the artist’s privacy, the official added.
Yoo’s shares might not add up to enough to be subject to disclosure rules, according to market insiders.
The two celebrities’ purchasing of shares is part of a “strategic exchange,” since they are investing in the company that had already taken over their agency, Antenna, they said. After buying 19 percent of the shares of Antenna in May, Kakao Entertainment bought out the rest in August, making it an affiliate company.
Experts say it is unusual for Yoo to buy shares from the parent company, whether they amount to much or not.
“Yoo had even refrained from buying shares from his previous management agencies, largely because the stock prices of entertainment agencies easily collapse due to scandals involving their artists. It also shows he didn’t want to be associated with such scandals for the reason he is sharing the same agency with them,” said Ha Jae-geun, a pop culture critic.
Ha added Yoo must have bought the shares thinking Kakao Entertainment is different from typical agencies in a way that it is more of an IT platform and shows good prospects for future growth.
Kakao Entertainment is a comprehensive content platform that produces web dramas, webtoon series and concerts. It recently merged with local music streaming platform Melon.
By Byun Hye-jin (email@example.com