BTS' agency applies for preliminary review of stock market listing

By Lim Chang-won Posted : May 29, 2020, 10:08 Updated : May 29, 2020, 10:08

[Courtesy of Big Hit Entertainment]

SEOUL -- The agency of K-pop sensation BTS has applied for the preliminary review of stock market listing to become a leading entertainment company in South Korea, underlining its stellar success in the global music scene. Market watchers believe Big Hit Entertainment's initial public offering is possible by the end of this year.

Korea Exchange, the securities exchange operator in South Korea, received Big Hit's request on May 28 for a preliminary examination of listing. If the review is completed within 45 business days, Big Hit can apply for listing this year. Initial public offerings can be used to raise new capital for future growth, repayment of debt, or working capital.

In 2019, Big Hit posted 587.2 billion won ($474.3 million) in consolidated sales, 98.7 billion won in operating profit and 72.4 billion won in net profit. Hana Financial Investment said that Big Hit's enterprise value may stand at more than three trillion won.

A coronavirus pandemic has affected BTS' global activities this year. However, Hana Financial said that Big Hit's sales in 2021 could exceed 750 billion won, given its diverse management revenue to be derived and the growth rate of artists. Operating profit was estimated at more than 150 billion won.

The request for Korea Exchange's review came days after Big Hit became the largest shareholder of Pledis Entertainment, a South Korean entertainment company that created two boy bands, NU'EST and Seventeen. BTS creator Bang Si-hyuk has pushed for structural changes to introduce a multi-label system by expanding into various genres including webtoons, animations, comic books, dramas and 3D graphic films.

Big Hit has absorbed beNX, an entertainment platform company known for its fan community service, Weverse, established Belift, a joint venture with CJ ENM, to nurture a K-pop idol group and acquired Source Music, a domestic label which manages girl group GFRIEND, to expand the spectrum of artists.
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