K-Pop Sensation BTS’s Agency Prices Its IPO at High End of Range
(Bloomberg) -- Big Hit Entertainment, the management company behind the world’s best-known boy group, will raise about 962.6 billion won ($820 million) from its initial public offering after pricing shares at the top end of their range, reflecting the continuing popularity of BTS.
Big Hit priced shares at 135,000 won after setting an initial range of 105,000 to 135,000. Institutional investors oversubscribed by more than 1,000 times the shares allocated to them.
The IPO will be South Korea’s largest in three years and make Big Hit founder Bang Si-hyuk a billionaire while turning each of the seven band members into multimillionaires. Bang, 48, owns more than 40% of the Seoul-based music agency, while gaming company Netmarble Corp. holds 25% after investing $172 million two years ago.
The stock’s trading debut on the Korea Exchange is expected Oct. 15, according to local news outlets, while retail investors will be able to subscribe for shares early next month.
|For more on BTS and Big Hit:|
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K-Pop Superstars’ Agency Files for IPO, Even as Concerts Shut
BTS grossed $170 million last year, ranking it fifth among the world’s top concert draws, just behind Elton John, according to trade publication Pollstar. Band members, all in their 20s, bond with fans by opening up about their anxieties through social media, which Bang has called a “window into the soul of BTS.”
The self-described BTS Army of fans is proving a hot commodity for investors even in a time when the Covid-19 pandemic has made live performances and tours impossible to carry on as usual. An online concert held by the band in June was the world’s biggest paid online music event, drawing more than 750,000 viewers, the Yonhap News Agency reported.
“The timing makes sense for Big Hit to go public,” said Sung Jun-won, an analyst at Shinhan Investment Corp. “Album sales have gone up in the absence of concerts, and BTS is at the center of the ongoing popularity.”
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