It seems that BTS label Big Hit Entertainment will be going public much sooner than anticipated.
After being valued at over $1 billion last summer (a figure that, though impressive at the time, has since been proven to be far too low), Big Hit execs indicated that they didn’t plan on taking their company public in the near future—despite some rumors to the contrary.
Now, multiple reports indicate that Big Hit has consulted several IPO underwriters—banking professionals who handle regulatory obligations, legal filings, and pricing specifics—ahead of an expected stock market debut later this year. The Financial Times is among those reporting the development.
JPMorgan, NH Investment & Securities (a Seoul-based financial firm), and Korea Investment & Securities have been tapped as underwriters, according to the leaked details, with Seoul’s Mirae Asset Financial Group serving as a joint manager. That list could be trimmed, expanded, or edited; neither Big Hit nor the listed companies have publicly confirmed the claim.
Additionally, sources stated that Big Hit’s valuation could be substantially larger than experts previously expected—to the tune of a whopping $5 billion. It’s likely that Big Hit accelerated the IPO process in response to last year’s encouraging financial report; thanks mostly to the immense profitability of BTS, the internationally acclaimed boy band, Big Hit’s 2019 revenue nearly surpassed the $500 million mark.
Big Hit Entertainment isn’t the only record label that’s looking to cash in on an initial public offering.
Earlier this month, Warner Music Group (WMG) announced that they will go public once again, having been taken private by Access Industries in 2011. Shortly afterwards, Universal Music Group (UMG) parent company Vivendi revealed that they plan to take UMG public by 2023. Vivendi has long been looking to capitalize on UMG’s growing profits; in 2019, the French company sold a tenth of UMG for a staggering $3.36 billion.
BTS’s newest album, Map of the Soul: 7, released on February 21st. The work has been well-received by critics, and preliminary sales figures are immensely positive. BTS is scheduled to begin a world tour on April 11th, with a stadium concert in Seoul. However, it’s possible that this and subsequent performances will be postponed as a result of the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.