Trung Nguyen Instant Coffee JSC (Trung Nguyen IC) has requested Le Hoang Diep Thao, the wife of Trung Nguyen Group chairman Dang Le Nguyen Vu, to pay a compensation of VND1.709 trillion ($75.2 million), more than double the investment capital of the company’s factory in Bac Giang.
There is no end in sight for the nearly one-year dispute between Trung Nguyen IC and Thao as it has recently been revealed that the company took Thao to court in July 2017 for the $75.2 million compensation claim.
On May 16, Thao officially rejected Trung Nguyen IC’s accusations and the request for compensation.
In a document sent to the Supreme People’s Court on March 5, 2018 Thao argued that Trung Nguyen IC lacks the legal grounds and evidence to bring civil procedures against her, claiming she committed no special violations of the Civil Procedure Code.
Additionally, Thao has also repeatedly requested the Bac Giang People’s Court not to carry out or approve any emergency measures affecting the operations of Trung Nguyen IC’s Bac Giang branch.
Responding to Trung Nguyen IC’s accusations, Thao lodged the following arguments:
First, Dang Le Nguyen Vu was not Trung Nguyen IC’s legal representative at the time the complaint for this commercial business case was signed because Vu violated Trung Nguyen IC’s charter by using the eighth company registration certificate to replace Thao as the company’s legal representative.
According to Thao, at the time Vu was the legal representative of Trung Nguyen Group, thus him becoming the representative of Trung Nguyen IC (a subsidiary) would have led to a clash of interests and was against the company charter.
By court order, Trung Nguyen IC is a common property between Thao and Vu the division of which is currently pending court assessment (Thao filed for divorce more than two years ago), thus a claim for compensation would be unjustified.
According to nguoiduatin.vn, the $75.2-million lawsuit is among lawsuits Trung Nguyen Group has started against Thao, aiming to negate her proprietary and control rights in their common assets with Vu.
In July 2017, Trung Nguyen IC sued Thao at the Bac Giang People’s Court for illegal seizing the company’s seals and Bac Giang branch’s and requested a court order for her to fulfil six things.
1. Thao has to return the assets, including Trung Nguyen IC’s subsidiary in Bac Giang, equipment, machinery, raw materials, and goods at Lot B (B2) in Quang Chau Industrial Zone (Bac Giang’s Viet Yen district).
2. Thao has to stop “illegally operating”Trung Nguyen IC (Bac Giang branch) to manufacture King’s Coffee products.
3. Thao has to return Trung Nguyen IC’s seals, and Trung Nguyen IC (Bac Giang branch)’s documents and legal papers.
4. Thao has to stop illegally obstructing Trung Nguyen IC’s legal representatives, including the Bac Giang branch’s general director, chairman, and shareholders, from exercising their rights and obligations in accordance with the company charter and the Enterprise Law.
5. Thao has to pay compensation for Trung Nguyen IC’s losses suffered until April last year and a one-off payment of $75.2 million.
6. Thao has to pay compensation for Trung Nguyen IC’s losses from May 2017 until the time the Bac Giang branch is reassigned to Trung Nguyen IC.