The "integrated corporation" in the world's top music market is an expansion of SM and Kakao's existing partnership.
Thirteen albums sold more than 1 million physical units in South Korea in the first half of 2023, compared to zero in the United States.
The workers allegedly booked $173,000 on trades before news of the K-pop group's break caused the company's share price to fall 29%.
The agency behind BTS said it was still studying possible avenues for collaboration with SM, once South Korea’s dominant K-pop company.
The agency that created BTS is embroiled in a public struggle with SM’s powerhouse founder Lee Soo-man. Will it end with a cliffhanger?
The companies are wrestling for control of SM with competing board slates at the March 31 annual meeting in Seoul.
HYBE also sends a letter to SM demanding the current board terminate a pact with Kakao and withdraw its Kakao-nominated director candidate.
Tech giant Kakao had agreed to buy shares as part of a partnership agreement, which SM founder Lee Soo Man opposes; he turned to rival HYBE instead.
The parent of Starship Entertainment, which includes Monsta X and other K-pop acts, says the investment will help "spearhead growth in K-culture worldwide."
The music investment firm shows global ambitions by acquiring the catalog through a new U.S. subsidiary.