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Court In Favour Of ADOR CEO Min Hee-jin's Injunction Request, Blocks HYBE's Voting Rights

The court has ruled in favour of Min Hee-jin amidst the HYBE-ADOR conflict. She is expected to retain her position as ADOR's CEO.

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ADOR CEO Min Hee-jin Photo: X
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As all eyes are on the HYBE-ADOR conflict, a significant development has occurred in the case. On May 30, the Seoul Central District Court's 50th Civil Affairs Division ruled in favour of ADOR CEO Min Hee-jin's injunction, which aims to block HYBE, the parent company, from exercising its voting rights at the upcoming shareholders' meeting on Friday. This decision means that despite HYBE's 80 percent ownership stake in ADOR, it cannot immediately proceed with its primary agenda of removing Hee-jin from her position.

The court said, “The reasons for Min Hee-jin’s dismissal or resignation claimed by HYBE have not been sufficiently substantiated. While Min Hee-jin’s actions may be considered a betrayal to HYBE, it is difficult to say that they constitute actions of breach of trust in regards to ADOR.” Additionally, the court declared that if HYBE violates the injunction and exercises its voting rights, the company will be required to pay 20 billion won in compensation.

Reacting to this decision by the court, netizens took to social media to voice their opinions. One user said, “I’m so relieved. Please stay with NewJeans for 100 years.” A second user wrote, “HYBE was attacking her without any evidence.” A third user commented, “Those who said she had no chance of winning didn't know what they were talking about. Min Hee Jin didn't win because of emotions. She won because of her contract.”

As a result of this decision, Hee-jin is expected to retain her position as CEO of ADOR, though the subsidiary’s two other directors are likely to be replaced. Moving forward, HYBE has the option to either appeal the court's decision or gather new evidence to call for another shareholders’ meeting.

For the uninitiated, the dispute between HYBE and its subsidiary ADOR began when ADOR's CEO Hee-jin was discovered planning to wrest management control from the parent company. In response, HYBE initiated an audit to investigate further. As more evidence surfaced, HYBE requested her to resign as CEO of ADOR, the agency behind NewJeans. The conflict escalated and garnered public attention when she accused HYBE of plagiarizing NewJeans’ concept for their new girl group, ILLIT. Additionally, HYBE filed a lawsuit against her, alleging she leaked confidential trade information to external parties to facilitate ADOR’s separation from HYBE. On May 7, Min Hee-jin sought an injunction to prevent HYBE from using its voting rights to dismiss her at the ADOR extraordinary shareholders’ meeting on May 31.  

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