[Exclusive] Chuu Striking Out on Her Own, Majority Shareholder is BY4M… A Tie That’s Difficult to Break
How far does the ‘bad relationship’ between the singer Chuu (24; Kim Ji-woo) and BY4M go.
It has been confirmed that ATRP, the newly founded agency where former LOONA member Chuu has made her new nest, has BY4M Studio (hereafter BY4M) as its parent company.
ATRP announced on the 7th that it had signed Chuu to an exclusive contract. ATRP is a newly founded entertainment agency, built around CEO Kim Jinmi, who discovered B1A4, Oh My Girl, and ONF while at WM Entertainment and was in charge of directing A&R and production/planning.
According to the Financial Supervisory Service’s Data Analysis, Retrieval and Transfer System (DART), BY4M owns 77.78% of ATRP’s shares. It appears that [ATRP] received investment from BY4M Studio when it was incorporated.
One official who is familiar with ATRP’s affairs said “BY4M Studio is the company that’s most actively making liquid investments in the entertainment industry right now,” adding that “The agency received an investment as it was being incorporated, separately from signing Chuu, and it’s unfortunate that this is being related back to BY4M and observers are seeing this as a link between Chuu and BY4M.”
Meanwhile ATRP related its own position, saying “ATRP is an independent company centered around CEO Kim Jinmi, and it is simply that we’ve received partial funding from BY4M Studio as a strategic investment. We are currently working on securing other investments also.”
BY4M began as a social media-based digital marketing company, and it has been expanding its business while growing into the music and film sectors.
It acquired Major9, which singers Vibe, Ben, and 4Men are signed under, and it was accused of engaging in advance contact (tampering) with Chuu before her exclusive contract with previous agency Blockberry Creative had ended in 2021.
Ultimately the tampering matter was not accepted by the Korea Entertainment Management Association (CEMA)’s Disciplinary Mediation Ethics Committee due to “lack of evidence”, but it caused much controversy.
Last year, [BY4M] was accused of directing the reverse-viral controversy over the film Emergency Declaration. Showbox, the distributor of Emergency Declaration, has filed a report with the Seoul Metropolitan Police for this case to be investigated.
(Reporter Cho Eun-byeol)