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Big Hit denies Bang Si-hyuk’s stake sale

  • Published : Mar 26, 2019 - 11:15
  • Updated : Mar 26, 2019 - 11:15

Big Hit Entertainment on Tuesday denied a report that its founder and CEO Bang Si-hyuk has sold some of his shares to secure cash for business expansion.

The agency declined to further elaborate.

On the previous day, a local daily reported Bang has sold 7.82 percent of his total 50.88 shares in Big Hit in return for 65 billion won ($57.39 million). Other shareholders, the report added, agreed Bang’s divestment could benefit the firm’s growth.

Bang Si-hyuk

Regardless of the stake sale, Bang is still the largest shareholder of the agency that is behind global sensation BTS. Game publisher Netmarble holds 25.22 percent stake, following its investment of 201.4 billion won last year. Local private equity firm STIC Investment invested 104 billion won, in return for 12.24 percent stake.

Expectation are high for a possible initial public offering of Big Hit, buoyed by its soaring earnings. Industry watchers project agency could make its stock debut in 2020.

The label posted operating profit of 64.1 billion won and 214 billion won revenue last year, up 97 percent and 132 percent, respectively, in comparison to 2017. Big Hit’s market valuation is believed to have exceeded 1 trillion won.

By Ahn Sung-mi (sahn@heraldcorp.com)