Company behind SKorean hit band BTS soar in trading debut

Company behind SKorean hit band BTS soar in trading debut

Big Hit Entertainment chief Bang Si-hyuk holds the most shares (12,377,337), or a 36.6 percent stake valued at 1.67 trillion won based on the IPO price, in Big Hit Entertainment, according to the agency and financial industry data.

While it's hard to put a negative spin on this multimillion-dollar windfall, the shares almost doubled in value during their first day on the market, as investors rushed to acquire a piece of South Korea's largest record label.

Investors scrambled to buy into the success story of Big Hit Entertainment amid speculation that the South Korean government could allow K-pop and other celebrities to defer their military service, citing their huge contribution to the country's economy and global reputation.

Big Hit has a tight grip over its revenue streams, with BTS merchandise and other products exclusively sold through its Weverse e-commerce platform. Share prices soared at the beginning of trading, catapulting Big Hit Entertainment to an unrivaled entertainment powerhouse in South Korea in terms of market capitalization.

Thursday's float made the band members instant multimillionaires, with each granted shares worth 18.5 billion won ($16 million) at the debut price, but BTS' official Twitter account did not reference the listing, focusing instead on the group's win at the coinciding U.S. Billboard Music Awards for Top Social Artist.

BTS launched in 2013 and has a legion of global supporters who call themselves the "Army".

Big Hit Entertainment Co.'s entry to the Korea Exchange had attracted strong interest from institutional investors following the company's meteoric rise on the back of the seven-member band's worldwide popularity. Big Hit Entertainment reportedly earns around 90% of its revenues from the band.

Big Hit relies heavily on BTS, with the Billboard-topping group accounting for 87.7 per cent of the label's revenue in the first half of 2020, according to a regulatory filing.

In other BTS news, it has been reported in Korea that the band may be allowed to defer their national service. Defense minister Suh Wook said earlier this month that an exemption will not be possible for BTS, whose oldest member, Jin, is 27. -South Korea relations. Chinese internet users and state media took RM's comments as a slap at China, whose soldiers fought alongside North Korea against South Korea and USA -led allied forces during the 1950-53 war that was halted by an armistice but no peace treaty.

BTS has yet to respond to the comments.

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