BTS label Big Hit acquires stake in K-Pop firm Pledis; becomes company’s largest shareholder

Big Hit Entertainment, the company behind BTS, has acquired a stake in Seoul-based K-Pop label Pledis Entertainment and is now the company’s largest shareholder.

The acquisition of the stake in the firm, which is home to K-Pop groups such as NU’EST and Seventeen, comes less than a year after Big Hit’s acquisition of Source Music and Seoul-based music game company, Superb.

Pledis was founded by CEO Han Sung Soo in 2007 and has also worked with artists like Son Dam Bi, After School, and Orange Caramel.

The label’s lineup also includes boy groups NU’EST and Seventeen, as well as Nana, Bumzu, Kyulkyung, Yehana, and Sungyeon.

According to a press release, Big Hit’s acquisition of a majority stake in Pledis forms part of the company’s corporate strategy, which “seeks to create synergy through the continued expansion of its multi-label structure and optimization of specialized business entities (360, IP, and platforms).”

The press release adds that Pledis will maintain its independence after joining Big Hit, but that its artists will now “receive systematic support from Big Hit’s professional and segmented business entities and support organizations, and are expected to play a greater role in overseas markets based on Big Hit’s global networks and platform technologies”.

In March, Pledis group Seventeen joined Weverse, a global fan community platform developed and operated by Big Hit’s subsidiary, beNX.

Big Hit says that its capabilities globally have been proven by BTS’ success.

Additionally, Big Hit states that its new affiliation with Pledis CEO Han Sung Soo in addition to the recruitment of CBO Min Hee-jin last year, gives Big Hit “K-pop’s best creative leadership”.

“I am thrilled to be joining forces with Big Hit, a company that’s spearheading the Korean entertainment industry.”

Han Sung Soo, PLEDIS

Han Sung Soo, CEO of Pledis, said: “I am thrilled to be joining forces with Big Hit, a company that’s spearheading the Korean entertainment industry.

“This will mark an opportunity for growth for both the label’s artists and entire staff members. We will do our best to give back the ardent love fans have shown us with quality content and greater success for the artists.”

“Hereafter, Big Hit and PLEDIS will sympathize through music, and will thrive together to create great synergy with each other.”

Bang S-Hyuk, Big Hit (pictured main)

Bang S-Hyuk, Chairman and CEO of Big Hit, added: “We are happy to collaborate with CEO Han Sung Soo and the creative team of PLEDIS Entertainment.

“Hereafter, Big Hit and PLEDIS will sympathize through music, and will thrive together to create great synergy with each other.”


Seoul-based Big Hit Entertainment generated revenues of 587.2 billion KRW ($508 million) last year, up 95% year-on-year.

Big Hit turned over 214bn KRW ($178m) in 2018, which was itself up 132% year-on-year.

The company’s operating profit in 2019 was 98.7bn KRW ($85.4m), up 24% year-on-year.

The label has reportedly chosen the underwriters for an IPO this year, with the aim of raising nearly $1 billion.Music Business Worldwide