Fantagio’s Major Shareholder Changes After Sale Of Shares
Fantagio has undergone a change in major shareholders after a recent sale of shares.
Last month, Fantagio confirmed that they were looking into selling shares previously owned by Gold Finance Korea. Gold Finance Korea is the Korean branch of JC Group, a Chinese real estate and investment company that became Fantagio’s major shareholder in 2017. JC Group’s investment in Fantagio came under controversy when JC Group fired CEO Na Byung Joon, resulting in the departure of several agency artists. Since then, JC Group has become embroiled in other issues in China.
On April 22, Fantagio announced that the shares and the management rights that were formerly owned by Gold Finance Korea had been sold to GNC Partners. In the contract concluded on April 14, Gold Finance Korea sold 22,775,800 shares (31.33 percent) to GNC Partners. Each share was worth 660 won, making the total worth of the transaction 15 billion won (about $12.15 million). As of April 17, GNC Partners has paid the contract fee of 3 billion won (about $2.43 million).
Founded in 2016, GNC Partners is a company that focuses on agency marketing services, including management consulting and advertising. However, this company has a history of working with companies who have suspended transactions after changes in major shareholders.
The CEO of GNC Partners, “Lee,” is also the owner of Taega. In 2016, Taega acquired SFC, but handed over its major shareholder position to Haedong Partners, an affiliate company with GNC Partners. In March 2019, SFC received an audit opinion disclaimer, suspending the company’s financial transactions. In 2020, the company still has not been able to produce an audit statement with a proper opinion, and is therefore on the road to becoming delisted.
There was also an issue with Clover Hi Tech. This company changed its major shareholder to Power Republic Alliance in April 2018. GNC Partners was also involved in the change, as Power Republic Alliance is also affiliated with CEO “Lee.” After acquiring Clover Hi Tech, Power Republic Alliance and GNC Partners took out the company’s cash for a loan. In March 2019, Clover Hi Tech received an audit opinion disclaimer and their transactions were suspended.
Also on April 22, Fantagio underwent recapitalization and increased its capital to the tune of 20 billion won (about $16.21 million). 5 billion won (about $4.05 million) will be used for operating funds and 15 billion won (about $12.16 million) to acquire other subsidiaries. The company plans to expand its entertainment industry activities in many different fields.
A source from Fantagio stated, “Starting with ASTRO’s mini album release on May 4, we have finished preparing various agency activities such as recruiting top actors, reinforcing our production department, and producing a new idol group. We are preparing projects in both the domestic and overseas markets.”