ADOR’s vice chief sells Hybe shares ahead of audit: sources

May 15, 2024

A vice president at ADOR, a sublabel of the K-pop powerhouse Hybe, divested all of his shares in Hybe a week prior to the parent company initiating an audit, sources said Tuesday.

According to the sources, the unnamed vice president sold 950 Hybe shares for 203.8 million won (US$148,900) on April 15, one week before Hybe launched the audit into ADOR CEO Min Hee-jin. The audit was initiated due to allegations that she was attempting to separate from Hybe and take the highly popular girl group NewJeans with her.

Hybe claimed the vice president’s early sale of shares suggested he foresaw a decline in Hybe’s stock price amid escalating tensions between Hybe and Min. Hybe’s stock experienced a significant drop as the dispute between the two sides unfolded publicly.

Hybe said it planned to lodge a complaint with the Financial Supervisory Service, urging an investigation into the vice president for purported violations of securities regulations, such as spreading rumors and exploiting undisclosed information.

Min’s side vehemently refuted the accusation, asserting that it would have been impossible to anticipate the audit in advance.

On April 25, three days after the audit, Min held a press conference to claim that she never tried to sever ties with the parent company. She pointed to the ownership structure, with Hybe holding an 80 percent stake in ADOR, as proof that such actions were implausible.

She also said the audit could have been triggered by her internal “whistleblowing” and revealed ongoing disagreements between her and Hybe’s management regarding the shareholders’ agreement.