Tuesday, May 28, 2024

What will happen to the comeback of NewJeans amid the internal conflict between HYBE and ADOR

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In the midst of the tremendous conflict between HYBE and its subsidiary ADORthe focus is on whether the return of girl group Newjeans will develop as planned.

HYBE subsidiary ADOR denied reports of an official statement planned for today. The company said they have no plans to make any announcements and that For the moment they will focus only on the return of
NewJeans, which will begin on
May 24 with the release of a new double single, which will include four new songs “How Sweet” and “Bubblegum.”

NewJeans
Hanni, Danielle, Minji, Haerin and Hyein from Newjeans

Min Hee Jin explained in March that Minji, Hanni, Danielle, Haerin and Hyein they will also do their official debut in Japan on June 21 with the songs from the double single “Supernatural” and “Right Now.” Specific, “Right Now” will be released as a CM song in South Korea and Japan in May. They also revealed that the group will have a fan meeting at Tokyo Dome on June 26 and 27in addition to having plans for a world tour in 2025.

On April 23, just one day after demanding the suspension and resignation of Min Hee Jin, initiating an audit, the CEO of HYBE, Park Ji Wonissued a statement to company members. Park urged ADOR members to “stand firm in their obligations” and “do everything possible for the comeback and growth of NewJeans.”despite the tense situation, explained an article in Naver.

This signifies an intention by HYBE to continue NewJeans activities as scheduled without interruption.

Bang Si-hyuk and Min Hee-Jin
HYBE founder Bang Si-hyuk and ADOR’s Min Hee-Jin

The general director Park Ji Won commented, in relation to the accusations against Min Hee Jin: “This case unequivocally reveals an attempt to gain control of the company.” He added: “If the conclusions of our internal and external audit are further corroborated, decisive action will be taken.” Park also noted: “The parties involved either do not cooperate with our legitimate audit or flatly refuse to respond,” and “many of their claims lack credibility or evidence.”

What happened between HYBE and ADOR

HYBE ‘Attempted Takeover’ Lawsuit Focuses on Ongoing Audit focused on A, the executive who moved from HYBE to ADOR earlier this year. A, who was responsible for investor relations (IR) and financial affairs at HYBE, is suspected of leaking confidential information during the transition.

HYBE has reportedly detected cases in which ADOR management was considering selling the company to global sovereign or venture capital funds. Last month, A’s work diary included entries such as “contract modification agreement”, “attracting external investors 1 and 2”, and “strategies for the sale of HYBE”. Additionally, phrases such as “make sure we are untouchable” and “finally get out” were noted. These entries suggest discussions about pressure HYBE holders to sell their stakes to Min Hee Jinpotentially making it a majority shareholder or establishing an independent corporation to attract investment.

Who owns ADOR

ADOR, created by Min Hee Jin under HYBE in 2021, is 80% owned by HYBE. Min Hee Jin acquired an 18% stake last year, making it the second largest shareholder. A company insider commented, “Although HYBE has the majority of the management rights and shares, Min Hee Jin also retains the intellectual property (IP) rights of the artists, so it is not entirely impossible for her to exert pressure .”

Min Hee-Jin
Min Hee-Jin

However, Min Hee Jin refuted the claims, stating: “I have never met with any investor to take control of the company”, and “this situation arose because I reported internal matters related to HYBE from a month ago until last week.” The “internal affairs” that Min was referring to have to do with the alleged concept of plagiarism by ILLIT, a group of rookie girls from Belift Lab, a subsidiary of HYBE, which debuted at the end of March. Min stressed: “This is a legitimate protest to safeguard the cultural achievements of our affiliated artist, NewJeans,” and “Therefore, after extensive discussions with NewJeans members and legal representatives, ADOR has made public its official position.” Nevertheless, HYBE denied it: “The allegations regarding management rights were premeditated and are not related to ILLIT’s debut”.

This situation also raised concerns about the “multi-brand system” of HYBE, which has acquired several companies to expand. Starting with Big Hit Music, BTS’s agency, HYBE later acquired Source Music, Pledis Entertainment, Ithaca Holdings, Belift Lab, QC Media Holdings and Exile Music. Although each label maintains its independence, concern is present about how the schedules of all groups under HYBE will be carried out.

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