BTS Members Awarded Millions In Pre-IPO Shares from Big Hit Entertainment

Big Hit Entertainment, the agency behind K-pop sensation BTS, is set to launch its IPO next month. And ahead of this long-awaited debut on the public market, Big Hit founder and co-CEO Bang Si-hyuk has given the ultra-popular boy band a multimillion-dollar stake.

The potentially $55 million cumulative ownership in Big Hit Entertainment came in the form of exactly 68,385 shares per BTS member. And as the 15-year-old agency is targeting a per-share price of $88.22 (105,000 won) to $113.42 (135,000 won) in its IPO, each of BTS’s seven members stand to experience a $7.76 million or so windfall if Big Hit touches the high end of the valuation scale out of the gate. Even at $88.22, 68,385 Big Hit shares would generate over $6 million.

More broadly, Big Hit has indicated that its IPO will comprise 7.1 million shares, raising between $626.36 million (at an initial value of $88.22) and $805 million (if the shares crack $113.42 apiece). Running with the upper number, given the substantial buzz, fanbase, and earning potential of BTS as well as the record-setting $500 million that Big Hit made in 2019, the IPO could produce $805 million.

BTS’s 478,695 shares will account for just 6.7 percent of the stock, but this relatively small investment gift may incentivize the group to work towards an even larger Big Hit market valuation.

We’ve covered Big Hit Entertainment’s much-anticipated IPO since rumors of its imminent arrival began circulating earlier this year. Following Big Hit’s aforementioned record earnings in 2019, the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic put BTS’s world tour in support of Map of the Soul: 7 (and the Big Hit IPO plans) on ice. Although the vast majority of crowd-based concerts remain shelved, however, Big Hit has continued to pursue its stock market rollout – including by completing the required forms and making strategic acquisitions.

Also worth noting is that BTS has performed well commercially in spite of the pandemic. The group’s first English-language single, “Dynamite,” reclaimed several YouTube viewership records from Blackpink last month. In addition to garnering 100 million views in one day (the fastest the benchmark has been crossed to date), “Dynamite” outsold all 50 of the bestselling songs in the U.S. during its first week. BTS and Big Hit capitalized on the unprecedented momentum with a multitude of remixes.

On the livestream front, BTS’s “Bang Bang Con: The Live” concert earned north of $20 million and secured a “Largest Online Concert” Guinness World Record. 756,000 viewers, from over 100 countries, tuned in for the 12-track pay-per-view performance.