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K-Pop Godfather Spurs Rally in Battle for Music Empire

  • SM Entertainment manages Girls’ Generation, Super Junior
  • Agency implementing activist proposal to dilute founder’s hold
SM Entertainment’s store in Seoul.
SM Entertainment’s store in Seoul.Photographer: SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg
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SM Entertainment Co.’s stock price surged to a record high after the K-pop agency’s founder vowed to block a share sale to internet giant Kakao Corp.

The move has spurred speculation that the agency’s board and its allies will face off with founder Lee Soo-Man — widely regarded as the godfather of K-pop — in a race to buy up shares to secure a controlling stake.