Big Hit CEO Bang Si-hyuk now worth comfortably more than $2bn as BTS firm’s IPO takes flight in Korea

BTS arriving at the 61st Grammy Awards, February 10, 2019 in Los Angeles (credit: Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock)

Big Hit Entertainment, the company behind K-Pop superstars BTS, made its stock market debut in Korea today (October 15).

The company’s shares opened at 270,000 South Korea Won (approximately $235) – double its initial public offering price of 135,000 South Korea Won ($117) per share.

On its first official day of trading in Korea, Big Hit saw its share price peak at 351,000 South Korea won ($305), but closed at 258,000 South Korea won ($225).

Big Hit Entertainment’s total valuation at the close of Thursday’s trading was 8.7 trillion South Korea won ($7.6 billion).

The seven BTS members’ shares were worth 17.6bn South Korea won ($15.39m) each at the close of trading, while Big Hit founder and CEO Bang Si-hyuk’s 36.6% stake is now worth 3.14 trillion South Korea won (approximately $2.8bn).

That reportedly makes him the sixth richest person in Korea, according to the Korea Herald.

It also makes him one of the richest independent entrepreneurs – in asset terms – to ever grace the global music industry.

The high point in that particular league is often cited as Clive Calder, who sold Zomba Group to (the old) BMG for $2.74bn in 2002 – 27 years after he co-founded the indie label with Ralph Simon.

“We will spur efforts to become the world’s best entertainment and lifestyle company,” he added.

Bang Si-hyuk

Speaking at the company’s IPO ceremony in Seoul, which the Korea Herald also reports was the first in three months due to the pandemic, Bang Si-hyuk said: “We will uphold the stockholder’s value in various terms by raising profitability, growth potential and contributions to society.

“We will spur efforts to become the world’s best entertainment and lifestyle company,” he added.

Big Hit’s success is pinned on its flagship act BTS’ and specifically on its die-hard fan base, or ARMY.

This weekend saw the band draw nearly 1 million viewers to their ‘MAP OF THE SOUL ON:E’  pay-per-concert, likely banking at least $35 million in the process.

This event follows BTS’ record breaking ‘BANG BANG CON The Live’ virtual concert in June, which saw them attract 756,600 concurrent viewers from 107 regions, generating close to $20 million in ticket sales.

In the H1 2020 period, Big Hit generated revenues of 294bn South Korean Won ($249m at current exchange rates) which was significantly up on the same period of last year (H1 2019), when the company posted half-year revenues of 200.1bn Won ($166m).

In 2019, Big Hit generated revenues of 587.2 billion South Korean won (over $500 million), which was up 95% year-on-year.Music Business Worldwide

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