HYBE reports analyst for allegedly brokering ADOR investment meeting

HYBE chairman Bang Si-hyuk, left, and ADOR CEO Min Hee-jin [JOONGANG ILBO]

HYBE reported an investment analyst to the financial watchdog for allegedly brokering a meeting between NewJeans' agency ADOR and an overseas investor as part of ADOR CEO Min Hee-jin's attempt to overthrow HYBE's ownership of agency.

HYBE on Tuesday reported an investment analyst to the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) and requested an investigation, accusing the analyst of brokering a meeting between ADOR's vice president and an investor on April 17, ahead of a separate investor meeting that had been set up with HYBE.

During the meeting, the investor stated a "desire to invest if ADOR is worth $1 billion," according to industry insiders.

ADOR on Thursday admitted that a meeting took place and the statement was indeed made, but argued that the meeting was part of a larger one with other local entertainment companies and the investor.

"The meeting was part of a program that included an investor meeting with seven to eight other Hallyu [Korean wave] culture companies, including dramas and games," ADOR's legal representation Shin & Kim said in a press release.

"ADOR's vice president only had lunch with the investor ahead of the meeting with HYBE. To make this seem like a separate meeting to sell off ADOR is an apparent lie."

HYBE chairman Bang Si-hyuk, left, and ADOR CEO Min Hee-jin [HYBE, ADOR]

No discussion on investing in ADOR took place in detail "because HYBE owns 80 percent of the company and there is no way of investing in ADOR anyway," according to the press release. The analyst also revealed to HYBE CEO Park Ji-won and the investor relations leader at HYBE that the lunch had taken place, the attorney said.

"HYBE should just admit that they hate Min Hee-jin," read the press release.

"It is obvious that it is HYBE's utmost goal to fire Min Hee-jin and bring down her reputation. They went for Min Hee-jin at first and now they're attacking the people around her with things that would otherwise have not been a problem, thereby threatening that the same could happen to others related to her also."

HYBE also refuted ADOR's claims on Thursday with a press release, claiming that the conversation "could not have taken place if the management seizure was not serious."

"Min Hee-jin said in her April 25 press conference that she wants us to 'bring the investor that plotted with me,' and pretended that she had never met the investor, but her lies are surfacing one by one," HYBE said.

"We hope the truth to be fully revealed by the investigative forces and court. We also demand that CEO Min stops saying that she's delivering 'ADOR's side of the story.' This whole management seizure arose from CEO Min's personal greed, irrelevant from the ADOR company."

ADOR held a board meeting earlier this year and agreed to convene a shareholders' meeting on May 31 to vote on whether or not to dismiss Min from her current position as CEO of ADOR.

Min has filed for an injunction to the court to stop HYBE from exercising its rights as the 80-percent owner of ADOR during the shareholders' meeting. A hearing is set to take place on Friday.