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K-pop group BTS' label Big Hit debuts at double its IPO price

  • Joyce Lee

    Reuters

Seoul, South Korea   /   Thu, October 15, 2020   /   08:41 am
K-pop group BTS' label Big Hit debuts at double its IPO price BTS held 'Bang Bang Con: The Live' on June 14, 2020. (Big Hit Entertainment via The Korea Herald/File)

Big Hit Entertainment, the management label of popular South Korean boy band BTS, debuted at double its initial public offering (IPO) price on Thursday as investors scrambled for a piece of the country's largest listing in three years.

Big Hit shares opened at 270,000 won, valuing the company at about 9.6 trillion won (6.4 billion pounds), compared with an IPO price of 135,000 won per share last month.

That puts the company on track to join the all-time top 10 debuts on the South Korean stock market, based on first-day closing prices.

The stock rose as much as 30 percent in early trade to 351,000 won, compared with a 0.3 percent fall on the benchmark KOSPI.

South Korean retail investors earlier this month laid out 58.4 trillion won in orders for Big Hit shares, falling just short of a record 58.55 trillion won for the retail portion of Kakao Games' listing in September.

Big Hit relies heavily on BTS, with the Billboard-topping group accounting for 87.7 percent of the label’s revenue in the first half of 2020, according to a regulatory filing.

The seven-member boy band has a huge global fan base, which the label has promoted effectively through social platforms and online performances since in-person performances were cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Analysts say the company has proved itself extremely online savvy, using Youtube and social media for market infiltration. It also has an unprecedented level of control over its revenue streams via its Weverse fandom platform, which has the potential to draw in other artists, analysts say.