Less than a month after Scooter Braun became the sole CEO of HYBE America, the company announced yesterday (February 8) that it has agreed to acquire Atlanta rap powerhouse QC Media Holdings or Quality Control, home to acts such as Lil Baby, Migos, Lil Yachty and City Girls.
Quality Control, a music, sports, and film and television empire, was founded by Chief Executive Officer Pierre “P” Thomas and Chief Operating Officer Kevin “Coach K” Lee.
The sale of Quality Control to HYBE America was led by Braun, an American record executive and talent manager who joined HYBE, formerly Big Hit Entertainment, when he sold Ithaca Holdings to the South Korea-born corporation for $1.05 billion in 2021.
Ithaca, which acquired Big Machine Label Group, is partly known for selling the recorded music rights to Taylor Swift’s first six albums to Shamrock Capital, in 2020 for around $300 million.
Less than a month ago, Variety reported that Braun has become the sole CEO of HYBE America after previously sharing the title with Big Hit veteran Lenzo Yoon.
Braun led the acquisition of Quality Control, parent company HYBE Corp. announced Thursday (February 9). It marked Braun’s first initiative as CEO of the HYBE unit.
The company did not disclose the size of the acquisition, but Variety reported that the deal is valued at $320 million in stock and cash.
“QC is one of the most significant independent labels in the world, working with incredible artists who are, and remain to be, the voices of culture.”
Scooter Braun, HYBE America
“I am so proud and honored to have Coach and P join Bang and myself as our partners. QC is one of the most significant independent labels in the world, working with incredible artists who are, and remain to be, the voices of culture,” says Braun.
Braun says his relationship with Coach K and P go as far back as 20 years ago in Atlanta.
“I’ll never forget riding around Atlanta over 20 years ago with Coach discussing our dreams and ambitions and how we said: ‘If they let us in the game, we are never going to give it back’.”
“Now, all these years later, we are joining forces to make these dreams a reality. It’s important to my team and me that P and Coach continue to have the freedom, and now our global resources, to continue to do what they do best; facilitate and nurture great art and culture,” Braun added.
The acquisition will give Quality Control access to HYBE’s global entertainment innovation capabilities, HYBE says.
“HYBE are perfect partners for Quality Control as we come together to take our story and work global. All of HYBE’s leaders are entrepreneurs with phenomenal, combined history finding talent and taking it to the highest levels.”
Pierre Thomas, Quality Control
“HYBE are perfect partners for Quality Control as we come together to take our story and work global. All of HYBE’s leaders are entrepreneurs with phenomenal, combined history finding talent and taking it to the highest levels,” said P Thomas, Quality Control’s co-founder and CEO.
“Taking QC worldwide requires key partners like this who understand building something from the bottom and aiming sky high. It matters to us greatly their grasp of culture and acutely seeing what QC has built and the limitless path of where it can go.”
Thomas added that both companies have an existing relationship with the Universal Music Group family of families, allowing for a seamless relationship between the two.
“We have so much gratitude to the whole QC family of artists and without them this wouldn’t be possible. This partnership will create a global platform for our artists which has been our goal since day one for them,” Thomas added.
For HYBE, the merger will allow it to further expand and diversify its global entertainment footprint after the Ithaca deal that, the company says, adding that the Quality Control merger marks another significant move in widening its music genres.
“Based on hip-hop, QC has been making a strong presence in the American music scene. With our shared vision, I have high hopes in what we can operate and achieve together.”
Jiwon Park, HYBE COrp.
“Based on hip-hop, QC has been making a strong presence in the American music scene. With our shared vision, I have high hopes in what we can operate and achieve together,” says Jiwon Park, CEO of South Korea’s HYBE.
“This partnership is a vital part of our growth plan to innovate the entertainment industry through a diversified portfolio and advanced technology. We will work together to continue adding depth of hip-hop to the global music industry,” added Bang Si-Hyuk, HYBE Chairman.
HYBE America manages clients such as Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande and Demi Lovato. On January 24, Hipgnosis confirmed that it has acquired Bieber’s 100% interest in his publishing copyrights, master recordings and neighboring rights for his entire back catalog covering 290 titles before December 31, 2021.
“Scooter Braun has helped him build a magnificent catalog, and it’s a pleasure to welcome Justin and his incredible songs and recordings to the Hipgnosis family,” said Merck Mercuriadis, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Hipgnosis Song Management.
Meanwhile, the merger with Quality Control marks HYBE’s latest acquisition after the entertainment company bought a stake in game developer Flint, the maker of the popular Dragon Blaze game, in November 2022, as well as fake voice AI company called Supertone in October 2022.
Park in November reassured shareholders that the company has other revenue sources after its biggest earner, BTS, took a break from their career to embark on mandatory military service in South Korea.
The plans include expanding in at least four new markets in 2023 including Japan and the US. HYBE had earlier said that it plans to focus on fostering artists the same way that K-pop artists are created.
Music Business Worldwide