SEOUL - Shares of YG Entertainment closed down more than 13% on Thursday after a media report that some members of the K-pop supergroup Blackpink are not renewing their contracts with the agency.
Some Blackpink members have decided to leave YG, while only one member has renewed her contract with the agency, the local media outlet The Daily Sports Seoul reported, citing unidentified entertainment industry sources.
In a statement, the agency said talks to renew the members’ contracts were still ongoing and nothing has been confirmed.
For months, there has been speculation that Thailand-born Lisa Manoban might break away from the group and pursue a solo career.
According to earlier South Korean media reports, the contract renewal offered to Lisa was worth 50 billion South Korean won ($37.6 million).
Rumours have been swirling for the past two months that YG was struggling to reach a new deal with its biggest stars. Exclusive contracts between an artist and an agency in Korea typically are no longer than seven years.
All seven members of BTS, K-pop’s biggest boy band, have renewed their contracts with the agency HYBE, the company said on Wednesday, with the group currently on “hiatus” as some of them perform South Korea’s mandatory military service.
Blackpink made its debut in 2016 and the group’s deal with YG was reportedly set to expire in August this year, though the company has never explicitly confirmed this.
Top K-pop stars are reported to earn around $1 million a year in base salary under the terms of the contracts with their agencies. Buri Ram-born Lisa, 26, is said to have a net worth of around $25 million from her performance earnings as well as commercial endorsements.
The news that Blackpink’s four stars — Jisoo, Jennie, Rosé and Lisa — might be shopping around for a new home came as Blackpink wrapped up its Born Pink world tour, the largest world tour ever by a K-pop girl group.
The final two performances took place last Saturday and Sunday in Seoul.