In June 2019, Ithaca/Braun infamously paid around $300 million for the rights to Taylor Swift’s first five albums, against her will. He transferred ownership of the catalog to Shamrock Capital, an investment company, in November 2020. In 2009, Roy Disney, the late nephew of Walt Disney, established Shamrock. Bang will not have ownership of Swift’s previous master recordings as part of this agreement.
Bang created Big Hit Entertainment in 2005; it will now go by the name HYBE. The acquisition of Ithaca marks Bang and Big Hit Entertainment’s first significant business venture in the American market. Braun will be added to the HYBE board of directors as part of the agreement.
Bang, a popular songwriter, started putting together a group of young people for a boy band in 2010. He first referred to them as the Bulletproof Boy Scouts before changing the moniker to Bangtan Boys and then BTS. He wanted this band to be different from the painstakingly groomed and immaculate idols K-Pop usually churned out. He wants BTS to represent actual young men with authentic personalities and skills.
This was a genuine departure from how things were often done in the K-Pop industry. Traditionally, production companies trained their bands to be blank slates on which fans ould project their fantasies.
(Image via Getty Images, courtesy of SEONGJOON CHO/POOL/AFP)
This is just the latest in an absolute flurry of deals in the music industry during the pandemic, which, of course, kept bands and artists from touring. Artists like Stevie Nicks, Bob Dylan, and Neil Young have sold rights to their music collections for hundreds of millions of dollars.
He founded Ithaca Holdings in 2010 with $120 million in venture funds raised primarily from Uber and Spotify. The Carlyle Group, a private equity firm, invested in Ithaca as a minor shareholder in 2017. 2019 will see Carlyle Group infuse another significant round of capital valued at $800 million. Braun remained, according to reports, the dominant owner after the investment.
How much money Braun will earn from the Big Hit contract is not yet known. He could own 99 percent or 51 percent of the company. In either case, it would be a huge profit for the impresario, whose worth we estimated at $400 million given that Ithaca was worth $800 million.
Scooter’s fun fact: He is actually the least fortunate person in the room whenever he goes out to supper with his in-laws. David Cohen, Scooter’s father-in-law, is the CEO and President of the Canadian mining firm esrey Resources (the first word is purposely lowercase). He founded the Gold Wheaton Group in the past, which he sold in 2011 for $1 billion. Prior to that he was the co-founder of Northern Orian Resources Inc. which was sold in 2007 for $1.5 billion.
Right across the street from her parents’ $12 million home in Brentwood is a $13.5 million home owned by Scooter and his wife Yael.