Naver, who is known to be competing with Kakao and CJ ENM to acquire a stake in SM Entertainment, announced that they have decided not to invest in shares. Naver stated, “We are reviewing various measures as part of strengthening our business competitiveness, but we have decided not to review investment with this case”.
This is the first time that Naver has confirmed and announced its position to not invest in the acquisition of a stake in SM Entertainment. Naver and Kakao received a request for clarification from the Korea Exchange in May of last year, after Maeil Business News reported that the two companies were competing to acquire some or all of SM Entertainment’s largest shareholder, Lee Soo Man (19.21%).
Since then, the two companies have repeatedly posted clarifications to the effect that “there is no concrete decision at present” at intervals of as little as one month and as long as six months. Last October, CJ ENM also announced they were in talks to acquire a stake in SM Entertainment. A Kakao official stated, “Kakao has not been confirmed as a company to acquire shares in SM Entertainment”.