Bang Si-hyuk, founder of the agency behind K-pop sensation BTS, has more than doubled his fortune in a matter of months as his company’s stock soared.
Bang is worth about $3.2 billion, according toThe Bloomberg Billionaires Index, after Hybe Co., formerly known as Big Hit Entertainment, is up 131% since going public in South Korea in October. When the initial public offering was valued, his net worth was around $1.5 billion.
This is a testament to the popularity of BTS, the band with some of the best-selling K-pop albums of all time. This might also signal optimism about Hybe’s global ambitions afterwardannounced in April the acquisition of the company behind worldwide stars Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande.
“Hybe has managed to bring another entertainment player to its side,” said Sungho Park, an analyst at Seoul-based Yuanta Securities Co. “That has helped gain confidence from investors that the business will do well.”
The company does not comment on Bang’s net worth, other than showing publicly available information about the number of shares.
Bang, who owns 34% of Hybe and is known as the “Hitman” in South Korea, is stepping down as CEO to focus on his role as chairman of the board, the company said this month. He will also continue to oversee music production.
hybesaid on April 2 it paid $1.05 billion to Ithaca Holdings, the US media group behind Bieber and Grande’s careers. Scooter Braun, who led Ithaca, became Hybe America’s co-CEO following the deal.
Company filings show Braun holds a 1% stake in Hybe, which is valued at $124.8 million. The seven BTS members, all in their 20s, each have an equal shareholding of $18.5 million. Bieber and Grande each hold shares worth $14.5 million.
“I’m excited about the potential this alliance has,” Bieber said in a statementthe video is released after the transaction is announced. “Kudos to the team. We have support from every corner.”
Bang started the company in 2005 after a career as a music producer. Initially, the business was so quiet that the artist only stopped by the office to play tennis on the company’s Nintendo Wii, Bang said in a 2017 interview.Interview. The company nearly went bankrupt in its early years, he said, before BTS released its debut album in 2013.
The band’s latest hit, Butter, has spent weeks attop of the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Hybe said in last year’s IPO prospectus that nearly 88% of its revenue in the first half of 2020 came from BTS.
After the rally, Hybe’s shares traded at about 52 times forecast earnings, compared to an average of about 12 times for the benchmark Kospi index.
For one analyst, the company needed to find the “next BTS,” but was already taking steps to surpass boy bands.
“It’s moving in the direction of minimizing its dependence on BTS,” said Gina An, an analyst at eBest Investment & Securities Co. “Other boy groups in Hybe have gained more popularity and have also added global artists.”
(Updating numbers across)