The popular South Korean K-Pop band BTS are expected to become multimillionaire shareholders after receiving shares in their label, Big Hit Entertainment, as it prepares an initial public offering (IPO) that could raise up to 962.6 billion won ($811 million).
This week, BTS scored Korea`s first-ever no 1 spot on the main US Billboard music chart with a breezy disco hit 'Dynamite'. Their first all-English language single hit the spot for mainstream U.S. pop fans, with a Youtube video garnering more than 284 million views already.
Big Hit CEO and largest shareholder Bang Si-hyuk last month gave 478,695 common shares to the seven BTS members, or 68,385 per each, "to strengthen long-term partnership with major artists and boost morale", Big Hit said in a regulatory filing on Wednesday.
Each BTS member would get 9.23 billion won of shares, or 64.6 billion won altogether if the IPO is priced at the top of its range in October.
The stock gift may be interpreted as an attempt to bind the BTS members and the label more closely together, said Kim Hyun-Yong, an analyst at eBEST Investment & Securities.
Big Hit plans to offer about 7.1 million shares at an indicative price range of 105,000-135,000 won per share.
The pricing potentially values the company at up to 4.8 trillion won ($4.04 billion), considering convertible preferred stocks plus common shares, analysts said.
Big Hit relies heavily on BTS, with some 87.7% and 97.4% of its revenue in the first half of 2020 and 2019 respectively coming from the group, the filing said.