BTS Record Label IPO Shatters Expectations

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The K-pop group just got a lot richer.

I’m not much of a K-pop listener, so some of the hype admittedly goes over my head, but I can read the writing on the wall. Here’s what it says: BTS is the biggest thing since sliced bread. This K-pop super-group has completely taken the world by storm, selling millions of albums, shattering records, and changing the face of the international music scene. I saw them on the cover of Time Magazine while I was waiting in line at Walgreens, that’s how ubiquitous they’ve become. So, it only stands to reason that when the company that represents them goes public, they’d make all the money in the known universe. Guess what? They totally did.

South Korean record label Big Hit Entertainment launched its IPO on the Seoul stock exchange this morning. With the power of BTS behind them, the label’s initial asking price was 270,000 won ($253 USD). This price tag lifted the company’s market value to an astonishing 10 trillion won ($8.5 billion USD), absolutely dominating the market as investors scrambled to obtain even a single share. Over the course of the buying frenzy, the share value rose by over 160% to 351,000 won ($305 USD) a pop.

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Big Hit’s chief executive Bang Si-Hyuk owns about 43% of the company in stock, and as such, now possesses a net worth of around $1.4 billion. Si-Hyuk, however, knows that his label wouldn’t have gotten to where it did without the help of BTS, whose songs made up 88% of the label’s total sales this year. This is why, back in August, Si-Hyuk awarded each of the seven members of BTS with 68,500 shares in the company. With Big Hit’s current market value, that’s about $8 million USD each. Truly, there are no breaks on the BTS train.

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