Taiwanese pop superstar Jay Chou’s mother is about to become very rich from her son’s image.
On Thursday, Yeh Hui-Mei’s company Star Plus Legend Holdings is selling 126.6 million shares at HK$4.25 (54 cents) each in an initial public offering in Hong Kong, which is poised to give her a stake worth about $54 million, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
Star Plus Legend is closely intertwined with Chou, selling products that are promoted using his intellectual property, including Modong, one of China’s top selling bulletproof coffee brands.
While the IPO size is lower than the company previously sought, it’s still set to make the former elementary school teacher a multimillionaire. Last month, the offering was pulled days before the listing date, with the company saying it needed additional time to prepare.
Yeh, 75, made a prescient decision decades ago to send Chou to piano lessons, sparking a love of music in the singer as a child, he has said on TV. The 44-year-old is now one of the most popular stars in Asia, with album sales that topped Taylor Swift last year, according to IFPI, which represents the interests of more than 8,000 record industry members. Chou’s fourth album is named after his mom.
Dubbed the “King of Asian Pop”, Chou made his debut in Taiwan in 2000 with his name-sake album Jay Chou. His music became an instant hit, with a blend of R&B and melodic rap, helping him to grow his fame across the region. He stepped onto a bigger international stage in 2011 with a starring role in superhero movie The Green Hornet alongside Seth Rogen and Cameron Diaz.
Yeh started Star Plus Legend in 2017 with co-founders including Yang Chun-Jung, Chou’s agent and partner of music label company JVR Music, according to the IPO prospectus. Through a holding company, Yeh and Yang will jointly own a 24.9% stake in Star Plus Legend worth $108 million based on the offering price. Ma Hsin-Ting, another co-founder and former investment consultant, will hold another 24.9% stake, the document says. In addition to coffee, the company sells other low-carb drinks and food, matcha powder and skincare products. It also provides IP creation, management and event planning services.
A representative for Star Plus Legend confirmed the stake value in an email.
One of Star Plus Legend’s best selling products is Modong, a high-fat drink, made with freeze-dried coffee, butter and virgin coconut oil designed for low-carb diet plans.
In 2022, it had almost one quarter of China’s bulletproof drink market, according to the firm’s prospectus for the offering. Most of the products are marketed through online channels, including Douyin, China’s TikTok equivalent, Wechat and lifestyle blogging platform Red. The company posted revenue of 344 million yuan ($48 million) and profit of 64.9 million yuan last year, the document showed.
Although Chou isn’t involved in the management of Star Plus Legend, he’s crucial to the business. Products with promotional activities involving Chou or his related IPs contributed almost 60% of the total revenue last year.
With a 10-year IP authorization agreement, Star Plus Legend can produce new content leveraging Chou’s influence. An example is J-Style Trip, a reality show focused on Chou and his friends, which appeared on Netflix.
Star Plus Legend noted its deep ties with Chou as a main risk in its prospectus.
“If we are not able to cooperate with Mr. Jay Chou, JVR Music or any of his other affiliates, our business, financial position and results of operation may be adversely affected,” it said. –BLOOMBERG