BTS-World-to-debut-in-June
BTS/Courtesy of BigHit Entertainment

Korean firms will benefit from BTS success

If Korean superstar BTS chalks up another success with its new album, “Map of the Soul: Persona,” to be released mid-April, it will have big implications not only for pop culture but also in business.

In particular, a pair of listed companies shelled out big bucks last year to purchase shares of BigHit Entertainment, the agency that formed the seven-member band in 2013.

The two are Netmarble and Stic Investments. The former is the country’s representative game publisher, which spent around $190 million to buy a 25.71 percent stake in BigHit.

The latter is a private-equity fund with assets under management topping $3 billion. This outfit funneled around $90 million in 2018 to gobble up a 12.24 percent stake in the agency.

It is affiliated with DPC, the world’s largest maker of high-voltage transformers for microwave ovens.

DPC, which is based in Ansan, near Seoul, has nothing to do with show business. Because its subsidiary is the third-largest shareholder of BigHit, however, the success of BTS is expected to substantially benefit it.

Its share price has shot up more than 40 percent this year thanks in no small part to the rising popularity of BTS. The upward trend is likely to continue if the new BTS album is a winner.

DPC, which is based in Ansan, near Seoul, has nothing to do with show business. Because its affiliate is the third-largest shareholder of BigHit, however, the success of BTS is expected to substantially benefit it.

In the case of Netmarble, BTS means more than an investment because the firm is developing an online simulation game, “BTS World,” which will feature more than 10,000 photos and 100 story videos of the group’s members.

Toward that end, the Seoul-headquartered enterprise is now cooperating with BigHit with the aim of launching the much-anticipated game during the first half of this year.

Of note is that Korean brokerage house, Korea Investment Securities, holds a 2.33 percent stake in BigHit. Bang Si-hyuk, founder and chief of the agency, is the biggest shareholder with 43.06 percent.

 

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