Posts tagged with "$1 billion"

BTS’s K-Pop Agency buys Bieber manager’s firm for $1B

April 5, 2021

The Korean company that launched K-pop sensation BTS is paying $1.05 billion for a star-studded U.S. media group that has advanced the careers of global songsters Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande, reports Bloomberg.

Big Hit Entertainment, which is changing its name to HYBE, is investing ₩1.07 trillion (US$950 million) into its U.S. unit to acquire founder and producer Scooter Braun’s Ithaca Holdings . Big Hit will pay a total of $1.05 billion to shareholders and bondholders to purchase Ithaca, according to a regulatory filing in Seoul on April 2.

The acquisition of Ithaca would be the first major foray into the U.S. market for Big Hit Entertainment, Bloomberg notes. Braun, currently Ithaca’s CEO, will join the board of HYBE, the companies said in a statement. As part of the transaction, Carlyle Group will sell its significant minority stake in Ithaca, which it has held since 2017.

Braun hailed HYBE’s systems and said the tie-up would create “exponential” opportunities for new and existing Ithaca artists. HYBE Chairman and CEO Bang Si-Hyuk called the deal an “inevitable joining.”

According to Variety, in aligning the two entities, the newly combined HYBE is poised to be among the biggest entertainment companies with a music focus operating on a global scale. BTS and Bieber, alone, bring dedicated fanbases numbering in the hundreds of millions, while Ariana Grande recently surpassed 90 billion streams consumed worldwide, the most ever by a female.

Big Hit helped popularize K-pop, with BTS’s “Dynamite” topping the Billboard Hot 100 in 2020. BTS was the first Asian act to be No. 1 on the U.S. music chart since Kyu Sakamoto held the No. 1 spot for three weeks in 1963.

Research contact: @Bloomberg

Top of the line: The price and profile of the new Allbirds sneaker are slightly higher

November 15, 2018

Consumers nationwide have been swept off their feet by Allbirds, the well-crafted, snuggly sneakers made from sustainable materials. And now the San Francisco-based direct-to-consumer startup—reportedly valued at more than $1 billion —has expanded its footwear line beyond its sneaker, loafer, and skipper silhouettes to offer a snappy new style.

Called the Tree Topper and priced at $115, it’s described by the company as “a refreshingly simple evolution of the classic hightop, perfect for cruising beneath the skyline.”

According to a report by Business Insider, the new sneaker is the first to incorporate all of the company’s sustainable materials—including its new “Sweetfoam” outer soles made out of EVA foam derived from sugar; its proprietary Merino wool blend padded insoles; and a stretchy, mesh knit upper fabric made from eucalyptus tree pulp. Even the laces are made of post-consumer recycled polyester derived from old plastic bottles.

The new sole foam was introduced in Allbirds’ limited-run flip-flop in August, and the company estimated that it would roll out to the rest of Allbirds’ line by the end of the year.

“The Tree Topper is a true representation of our approach to design and sustainability,” Jamie McLellan, Allbirds’ head of design, said in a prepared statement. “With just the right amount of nothing and comfort as a non-negotiable, the Tree Topper is a playful canvas for showcasing our three hero materials.”

Research contact: dgreen@businessinsider.com

Big media and technology companies bankroll a $1 billion small-screen TV venture

August 8, 2018

Disney, Alibaba and NBCUniversal are participating in a $1 billion financing round for a new video streaming service—led by ex-Hewlett Packard Enterprise CEO Meg Whitman and ex-Walt Disney Studios Chairman Jeffrey Katzenberg; and designed specifically for mobile viewing, CNBC reported on August 6.

The product, dubbed NewTV for now, will “access the best talent and intellectual property for this next era in entertainment,” Katzenberg, who will be chairman and founder of the initiative, said in a statement.

Katzenberg and his investors—which also include Fox, Viacom, Sony Pictures, Lionsgate, and MGM— are banking on an untapped audience that craves high-quality content designed for smartphones and tablets.

Variety revealed this week that NewTV is aiming to launch by the end of 2019, with a premium lineup of original, short-form series comprising episodes of 10 minutes each. The service will have two subscription tiers: an advertising-free plan and an “advertising-light” option (a la Hulu), according to Whitman. Each series will cost between $5 million  and $6 million per hour to produce.

“With NewTV, we’ll give consumers a user-friendly platform, built for mobile, that delivers the best stories, created by the world’s top talent, allowing users to make the most of every moment of their day,” said Whitman, NewTV’s CEO, in a formal company statement on August 7.

NewTV’s platform is owned by Katzenberg’s holding company WndrCo.

More than half of all video viewing is now happening on mobile, and most of those views come from phones, not tablets, according to a study by : That’s video platform provider Ooyala.

Research contact: howard@wavekilo.com