South Korea firm behind boy band BTS surges in market debut

Brenda Watkins
October 16, 2020

The label also has an unprecedented level of control over its revenue streams via its Weverse fandom platform that distributes BTS content and sells merchandise, which has the potential to draw in other artists.

Following the surge in shares, Big Hit founder Bang Si-hyuk's net worth reached $3.8 billion, one of the biggest fortunes in Korea.

An employee walks past a electronic board showing an information of Big Hit Entertainment's initial public offering ceremony at the Korea Exchange in Seoul, South Korea, October 15, 2020.

South Korea is now debating exemptions for stars such as BTS, who have been at the forefront of the Korean Wave cultural phenomenon in recent years and are estimated to generate billions for the country's economy.

South Korean retail investors earlier this month laid out 58.4 trillion won ($51.1bn) in orders for Big Hit shares, falling just short of a record 58.55 trillion won ($51.2bn) for the retail portion of Kakao Games' listing in September.

According to its reports, the company managed to double its value during the first hour, but after that, its shares began to drop a few points in its growth percentage.

The Big Hit float also made the seven members of BTS instant multimillionaires with each granted shares worth 18.5 billion won ($16m) at the debut price.

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Big Hit raised 926.6 billion won ($841 million US) in what was South Korea's largest IPO since 2017.

One factor that could impact the band's future is South Korea's mandatory military service, which requires all able-bodied men to serve for almost two years between the ages of 18 and 28.

Unlike many other K-pop artists whose carefully cultivated images are shaped by their management agencies, BTS members actively engage with their fans through social media and often write their own lyrics.

However, South Korea's military recruitment agency told parliament this week that it is working on a proposal to defer enlistment for global pop culture stars who enhance South Korea's reputation.

Massive Hit's enterprise relies upon closely on BTS, which drove greater than 87 % of the corporate's revenues within the first half of this yr.

BTS launched in 2013 and has a legion of global supporters who call themselves the "Army".

Bang said that Big Hit feels a deep sense of responsibility for shareholders and society. "We will spur efforts to become the world's best entertainment and lifestyle company".

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