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K-pop agency's chief fired by Chinese owner, stars vow walkout

2018/01/02 20:07

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SEOUL, Jan. 2 (Yonhap) -- An internal feud has erupted within Fantagio Corp., a mid-sized entertainment agency in South Korea, in the wake of the recent dismissal of its CEO by a China-based shareholder, according to employees Tuesday.

Last Thursday, Fantagio founder and CEO Na Byeong-joon was unilaterally fired by JC Group, a China-based private equity fund which acquired a 50.07 percent controlling stake in the agency in October last year. JC's Korean branch, Gold Finance Korea, which controls Fantagio, announced that the agency will be run by Chinese management.

In light of Na's sudden removal, Fantagio employees formed an emergency committee demanding the former CEO's reinstatement and vowing to stage a walkout over what it described as the shareholder's "irregular intervention in management."

   "The decision was a one-sided, unfair measure that was made by large Chinese capital," the committee said. It added, "Unless the illegal and unusual management intervention of the Chinese majority shareholder's Korean branch is suspended, the employees will engage in a general strike."

   Approximately 30 artists are signed to Fantagio, including actors Seo Kang-joon and Kang Han-na, K-pop groups Hello Venus and Weki Meki, and Ong Seong-wu of project boy band Wanna One.

Corporate logo of K-pop management agency Fantagio (Yonhap) Corporate logo of K-pop management agency Fantagio (Yonhap)

odissy@yna.co.kr

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