Seoul talent agency sets up base here

Girl's Day members (from left) So Jin, Yura, Hyeri and Minah. Singapore-based company Elektromotive Group is acquiring a stake in Dream T Entertainment, the agency behind the Korean girl group.
Girl's Day members (from left) So Jin, Yura, Hyeri and Minah. Singapore-based company Elektromotive Group is acquiring a stake in Dream T Entertainment, the agency behind the Korean girl group.PHOTO: SHIN MIN DAILY NEWS

South Korean management company Dream T Entertainment is setting up a base in Singapore as it looks to broaden its influence in South-east Asia.

The agency, which manages popular girl group Girl's Day, is also open to grooming talent in the region to become K-pop stars.

Mr Cho Yu Myong, founder and chief executive of YMC Entertainment, a subsidiary of Dream T, says: "There are a lot of foreign artists in Korea. In a group, there is usually one Chinese or Japanese. Maybe next year, there could be a Singaporean in a group."

The expansion here is due to Singapore-based company Elek- tromotive Group Limited's upcoming acquisition of a 63.13 per cent stake in Dream T Entertainment for $22.7 million.

The acquisition deal, which was announced at a press conference yesterday at Marina Bay Sands, is expected to be completed in the second quarter of next year.

Elektromotive Group decided to tap on the "fast-growing" Korean entertainment scene because it was looking to expand beyond its existing businesses.

The company provides electric vehicle-charging equipment across Europe and publishes magazines and periodicals in Malaysia.

K-pop songs and their singers and K-dramas are very influential in the entertainment world, says Mr Ng Kai Man, executive director of Elektromotive Group.

The South Koreans are eyeing new markets in South-east Asia because they have been facing obstacles in China recently.

Mr Kim Joon Bum, one of the largest shareholders of Dream T, says: "The Korean entertainment industry has grown rapidly in the recent years, mainly due to high demand from China. But last year, we had to move out because of political reasons."

It has reportedly become increasingly difficult for Korean entertainers to perform in China after a missile-defence row between the two countries.

China had taken issue after South Korea announced plans to deploy a US anti-missile system.

There could now be more performance opportunities here for Dream T and YMC's artists, such as boy band MAP6 and singer Ailee.

Dream T's star group Girl's Day were present at the press conference. Leader So Jin, 30, says: "I understand that fans in Singapore have been waiting for us. This is a good opportunity to come and see them."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 16, 2016, with the headline 'Seoul talent agency sets up base here'. Print Edition | Subscribe