BTS Backer Big Hit Entertainment to Change Name to HYBE Corporation

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Big Hit Entertainment, the backer of K-pop uber-group BTS, is in the process of changing its company name to HYBE Corporation, it told Variety Thursday.

The company has already registered the new name with Korean company regulatory authorities, although the change has not been approved by shareholders. Nor has it been announced to Korea’s stock market regulator. The name change will be addressed at an upcoming general shareholders meeting on March 30.

A Big Hit spokesman confirmed the news in an email to Variety and said more information would eventually follow in future press releases, without providing further details.

The impetus for the change reportedly stems from the Korea Exchange-listed company’s desire to position itself as a company that has expanded beyond mere artist management to realize its ambitions of becoming a more comprehensive lifestyle platform. Korean reports state that Big Hit plans to branch out from music production, distribution, artist management, live performance management, internet tech and e-commerce to become more involved in areas such as travel, real estate, and other types of communications.

Founded in 2005, Big Hit started as an underdog firm in Korea’s pop music world, where three major talent management firms dominated K-pop. Its status changed, however, as its boy band BTS rocketed to stardom. Big Hit continues to rely on the boy band for the majority of its revenue.

The company went public in October with a $820 million offering that was South Korea’s largest in three years. Despite the initial hype, its stock has roller-coastered dramatically since. After a surge at the trading debut, the shares sank through the last months of 2020, before staging a spectacular rally from late January 2021, reaching a new high point in mid-February. At KRW205,000 as of Thursday morning local time, the price is 52% above the IPO price of KRW135,000, and gives the company a market capitalization of KRW7.29 ($6.4 billion).

The firm will be back in the spotlight at the upcoming Grammy Awards on March 14, where its most popular musical act BTS will perform, having already made history as the first K-Pop act to nab a nomination. The seven-member group will compete in the best pop duo/group performance category.