BTS singing all the way to the bank as record label prepares IPO

SEOUL • K-pop sensation BTS are set for a multimillion-dollar windfall next month when shares in their record label go on sale, with a public offering valuing the company at over US$4 billion (RM16.8 billion).

The trailblazing septet cemented their prominence in the world’s biggest music market last month, when their all-English track “Dynamite” debuted at No 1 in the Billboard Hot 100.

The band’s label Big Hit Entertainment Co Ltd priced its IPO at 135,000 won (RM540), the firm said in a regulatory filing on Monday, the top end of its indicative price range, giving the agency a market value of US$4.1 billion.

Big Hit CEO Bang Si-hyuk, who owns 43% of the agency, is worth US$1.4 billion with the offerings, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

With the IPO, all seven members of the group — currently the world’s biggest boyband — are also set to become multi-millionaire stakeholders.

Last month the members were given 68,385 shares each from Bang — worth about US$8 million at the offering price.

During demand forecasting sessions last week, 1,420 institutional investors showed interest in more than 1,100 times the number of shares available, the firm said in the regulatory filing.

BTS’ passionate fans, as well as retail investors, are bidding in hopes of securing at least one share.

Big Hit will raise 962.6 billion won — according to the firms’ regulatory filings — the largest South Korean IPO since Celltrion Health- care Co Ltd raised one trillion won in 2017.

K-pop — along with K-drama soap operas — has been one of South Korea’s most successful cultural exports and is a key component of the “Korean Wave” that has swept Asia and beyond over the last two decades. — AFP