Taking a Boy Band Public

BTS, the insanely popular Korean boy band, is set to cash out today as the company who owns them, Big Hit Entertainment, will start trading shares on the Korean Stock Exchange. The public offering is attracting massive retail interest in Korea and around the world from the legions of fans.

Making The Band

BTS stands for Bangtan Sonyeondan or in English, Bulletproof Boy Scouts. The group was formed in 2013 and built an intensely loyal fan base by cultivating a public image and personal story of “fighting their way to the top of the music business while staying true to themselves.” BTS has expanded their empire through branded everything from basic merch to comics and video games.

The Boy Band is estimated to contribute $3.5 billion to the entire South Korean economy.

Big Hit Numbers:

  • The company is valued at $4 billion after raising over $800 million as part of the IPO.
  • The retail offering had 600 times more offers than shares available, the institutional offering 1000 times.
  • Big Hit reported a profit of $86 million last year.
  • BTS’s song Dynamite became the first song by a Korean artist to hit #1 on the Billboard Charts.

Army and Army

The stock will pop, but is it a good bet? A lot is riding on these boy scouts.

The group has an intensely passionate fan base known as Army (Adorable Representative M.C. for Youth) they create a tremendous amount of value for investors, but also may be driven to artificially move the stock price, just like they set out to move other metrics such as streams for BTS.

Another check on the boys is South Korea’s mandatory military service, the group’s oldest members will be required to report by the end of next year with others following soon. Without the whole band together the asset may not hold up.