The members of chart-topping Korean boy band BTS have become multi-millionaires after their record label’s blockbuster IPO doubled in its stock market debut on Thursday.
South Korea’s Big Hit Entertainment started trading on the Seoul stock exchange at 270,000 won ($253), compared to last month’s 135,000 won initial public offering price, lifting the company’s market value to 10 trillion won ($8.5 billion) on a fully diluted basis.
The record label’s stock rose as high as 160% from its IPO price to 351,000 won ($305), while the overall Kospi index dropped 0.3% on Thursday. Its shares ended trading about 90% higher.
Big Hit, headed by chief executive Bang Si-Hyuk, has seen an influx of investor orders thanks to the global star power of the celebrated boy band, despite COVID-19 disrupting the live-music and entertainment industry this year.
The high-profile listing followed BTS achieving their second highest-charting hit, “Savage Love,” on Billboard’s songs chart this week.
BTS, whose acronym stands for “Beyond the Scene,” is made up of members Kim Tae-hyung (more popular as V), Jung Ho-seok (J-Hope), Kim Nam-joon (RM), Kim Seok-jin (Jin), Park Ji-min, Jeon Jung-kook, and Min Yoon-gi (Suga).
The seven-member band were already sitting on a fortune in August, when Si-Hyuk granted each member around 68,500 shares, roughly equivalent to an $8 million stake.
The band generated 97% of Big Hit’s sales last year, and 88% this year.
Scores of individual investors rushed to secure at least one share of their favorite K-pop band, betting that the record label going public would be a smash hit.
“I waited until 2 pm this afternoon to subscribe, because I wanted to choose the arranger with less competition for bidding,” Oh Sang-min, a 32-year-old retail worker who placed bids worth 100 million won ($87,130) after taking a loan, told Reuters.