Music | Company behind S. Korean hit band BTS soar in trading debut

Big Hit Entertainment Ltd.’s Chairman and CEO Bang Si-Hyuk (fourth from left), poses during the listing ceremony of the company at the Korea Exchange in Seoul

South Korea’s Big Hit Entertainment, the company that manages global pop sensation BTS, had a dynamite trading debut Thursday in Seoul, helped by the zeal of its loyal fans.
Big Hit’s shares nearly doubled after their initial public offering netted more than $800 million. The strong start was widely expected by analysts given the huge fan base for the seven-member boy band that has been dominating Billboard charts. Its market value stood at about $7.5 billion by the end of trading.
Despite the concert-killing COVID-19 pandemic, Big Hit has prospered thanks to huge demand for its online content, including livestreamed BTS concerts that reportedly attracted more than 1.7 million fans.
The company’s shares opened at 270,000 won ($236), about double their initial public offering price. They surged 30%, hitting the daily trading limit, before falling back and closing at 258,000 won ($225), bringing the company’s valuation to 8.7 trillion won ($7.5 billion).
Big Hit has a tight grip over its revenue streams, with BTS merchandise and other products exclusively sold through its “Weverse” e-commerce platform.
Big Hit raised 926.6 billion won ($841 million) in what was South Korea’s largest IPO since 2017.
“The company has managed to grow beyond the traditional revenue sources of album sales and concerts and diversify its business through online channels,” wrote Ahn Jin-ah, an analyst from South Korea’s E-Best Investment and Securities, in a report that described Big Hit’s stock market entrance as a “drop of dynamite.”
BTS accounted for more than 80% of the company’s revenue during the first half of 2020, according to a separate report by Samsung Securities.
BTS launched in 2013 and has a legion of global supporters who call themselves the “Army.” It became the first K-pop act to top Billboard’s Hot 100 chart last month with their first all-English song “Dynamite.”
The band — consisting of J-Hope, RM, Suga, Jungkook, V, Jin and Jimin — has performed in sold-out arenas around the world and was even invited to speak at the U.N. General Assembly last month. AP

Categories Extra Times tTunes