All members of the megastar girl group BLACKPINK renewed their contracts with YG Entertainment on Wednesday, the company said, ending speculation around their future and driving up shares in the leading K-pop label by over 20 percent.
Rumours surrounding BLACKPINK -- one of K-pop's most successful girl groups -- and their potential future plans have abounded since the quartet's original contracts expired in August, with local reports even claiming in September that member Lisa rejected YG's renewal offer.
But YG announced on Wednesday that all members -- Jenny, Lisa, Jisoo and Rose -- had renewed their contracts with the company for "group activities".
"After careful discussion with BLACKPINK, we signed an exclusive contract for group activities based on deep trust," the label said in a statement sent to AFP.
"With YG's full support, BLACKPINK plans to repay the love of fans around the world with activities commensurate with their global status, including the release of a new album and a large-scale world tour," it added.
BLACKPINK, who first emerged out of South Korea's wildly popular K-pop scene in 2016, has also been recognised for the group's efforts on climate advocacy.
Last month, the members were given one of Britain's most prestigious honours by King Charles III, for their work for the COP26 climate summit in 2021.
Their official YouTube channel has a staggering 92.3 million subscribers, making them one of the most subscribed artists in the world on the platform.
BLACKPINK's other achievements include being the first-ever K-pop girl group to reach the top of the US Billboard 200 chart, and the first Asian artists to headline prestigious music events such as Coachella.
YG, on the other hand, was at the centre of the notorious "Burning Sun" entertainment and sex scandal -- which revolved around a Gangnam nightclub of the same name -- that rattled South Korea in 2018.
The label was hard hit when Seungri -- a former member of popular boyband BIGBANG and co-director of Burning Sun -- retired from show business in 2019 amid mounting criminal investigations.
He was later sentenced to 18 months in prison for offering women to potential investors for sexual services, among other charges.
YG Entertainment's shares were up 24.58 percent to 59,800 won in afternoon trading in Seoul.