Did Min Hee Jin 'steal' Source Music trainees to debut under ADOR? New report's claims on NewJeans shocks netizens

New reports keep on emerging on the Min Hee Jin-HYBE feud. In multiple new reports, it is now stated that Min Hee Jin stole Source Music trainees to debut under ADOR. Know more.

Updated on Apr 24, 2024  |  08:54 PM IST |  238.3K
Min Hee Jin (Image Credits- Min Hee Jin's Instagram), NewJeans (Image Credits-NewJeans' Instagram)
Min Hee Jin (Image Credits- Min Hee Jin's Instagram), NewJeans (Image Credits-NewJeans' Instagram)
Key Highlight
  • New reports suggest Min Hee Jin 'poached' NewJeans from Source Music
  • NewJeans members were trainees under Source Music
  • They were reportedly supposed to debut under Source Music but instead debuted at ADOR

On April 24, a Korean media outlet published an article shedding light on NewJeans and Min Hee Jin. The report alleged that Min Hee Jin made attempts to ‘steal’ and recruit trainees from Source Music to debut under ADOR. 

This news surfaced amidst claims that Source Music played a pivotal role in the formation of the increasingly popular girl group NewJeans, shocking fans. NewJeans debuted under ADOR on July 22, 2022. 

Did Min Hee Jin ‘steal’ trainees from Source Music?

In the article, Korean media outlet Dispatch revealed Source Music's integral role in the formation of NewJeans, providing insights into each member's trainee journey for the first time. According to the outlet, Minji began her training with Source Music in 2017, while Hanni joined in 2019 after participating in the joint global audition held by BIGHIT MUSIC and Source Music. 

Haerin and Danielle both commenced their training at Source Music in 2020. Although the outlet didn't disclose Hyein's exact signing date, they revealed that Source Music initially discovered her online, subsequently inviting her to audition, which she successfully passed, leading to her signing with the agency.

All five members of NewJeans underwent training at Source Music until the latter half of 2021, personally selected by Source Music's CEO, So Sung Jin. Meanwhile, Min Hee Jin moved to HYBE in 2019, assuming the role of Chief Branding Officer with a focus on overseeing branding initiatives for HYBE's affiliate companies. In an official announcement, HYBE revealed that Min Hee Jin would lead a new girl group project and establish her own label to scout fresh talents and spearhead music production.

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Initially tasked with overseeing the debut of a new girl group under Source Music, Min Hee Jin sought autonomy by establishing her own agency, ADOR. As a result, she brought trainees from Source Music into her new agency, including the five current members of NewJeans (Minji, Hanni, Haerin, Danielle, and Hyein). However, despite the transfer, the training expenses for these five trainees continued to be shouldered by Source Music.



Min Hee Jin’s role post acquiring NewJeans

Dispatch acknowledges Min Hee Jin's significant role in catapulting NewJeans to fame, crediting her and producer 250 for revitalizing the 2000s sound in a contemporary manner. However, the outlet asserts that the mastermind behind NewJeans was actually So Sung Jin, who facilitated the recruitment of the trainees comprising the group.

Despite this, Min Hee Jin received rightful recognition for NewJeans' success. HYBE's directors granted her the opportunity to purchase ADOR stock at discounted prices in the first quarter of 2023, bypassing the acquisition of stock options. This enabled Min Hee Jin to acquire an 18% stake in the company making her the second-largest shareholder. By allowing her to purchase existing stock rather than stock options, Min Hee Jin also avoided a 45% tax on the acquired shares.

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The outlet further reported that Min Hee Jin holds put options on HYBE valued at approximately 100 billion KRW (equivalent to about 72.9 million USD). A put option grants the buyer the right to sell a stock at a predetermined price before the contract's expiration date. Typically, traders purchase put options when they anticipate a decline in the stock's value, suggesting that Min Hee Jin anticipates a potential decrease in HYBE's stock price.

According to Min Hee Jin, her departure from HYBE was motivated by a comparable investment opportunity from another company, indicating that she didn't feel compelled to remain at HYBE. However, despite her exit, Min Hee Jin benefited from HYBE's system by selecting the trainees she desired from HYBE's trainee pool for her new agency, ADOR. 

The situation was summarized by suggesting that if NewJeans succeeded, Min Hee Jin would receive the credit, but if the group failed, the financial burden would fall on HYBE, not ADOR. Therefore, Dispatch concludes that the fame of NewJeans cannot be solely attributed to Min Hee Jin.

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ALSO READ: Min Hee Jin denies trying to take ADOR's management rights; addresses NewJeans' comeback in interview

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About The Author

Pratyusha Dash is an English Literature Graduate from Vivekananda Institute of Professional Studies with a deep passion for Korean

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Credits: Dispatch
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