HCMC prosecutors proposed Monday that Vietnam’s coffee king and his estranged wife get divorced, sharing the spoils of shared properties.
Dang Le Nguyen Vu, founder and chairman of Trung Nguyen Group, and his estranged wife Le Hoang Diep Thao, should divide their 13 shared properties equally, the procuracy said.
The total value of the properties is estimated at VND725 billion ($31.30 million).
The procuracy also said that the couple’s four children should be raised by Thao, with Vu responsible for providing VND10 billion ($431,450) towards their upkeep each year, starting from 2013 until they finish their tertiary education. 2013 is the year that conflicts broke out between the couple.
Since Vu and Thao have not agreed on how to divide the VND2.1 trillion ($90.6 million) kept in banks, the procuracy proposed that this item be suspended until the next session.
For Trung Nguyen shares, if the couple cannot come to an agreement, the shares should be divided equally but “the contribution of the husband and the wife in creating, maintaining and developing the asset must be considered,” the procuracy said.
Vu had previously said he the company’s shares held jointly with his wife also divided 70:30 in his favor, but Thao insisted on a 50:50 split because of her contributions to the company.
Thao said she’d given Vu the money to start the company in 1996, but she could produce no proof, hence the procuracy could not conclude that she’d contributed financially to the company.
However, it did say that Thao participated in managing the company.
The court will announce its verdict on March 1.
Last December, Thao had accused Trung Nguyen Group of forging signatures to remove her from the Trung Nguyen Instant Coffee Corporation (Trung Nguyen IC) and replace her with her husband.
In 2006 she had been appointed Trung Nguyen’s deputy general director, and she claims that under her management its charter capital had increased from VND150 billion ($6.5 million) to VND2.5 trillion ($108.7 million) and both its revenues and profits had grown tremendously.
Then, she has alleged, in July 2014, Vu dismissed her without the board of directors’ approval. He also instructed his employees to demolish her office and block her from entering the company’s headquarters, she claimed.
Last September, the court reinstated her as deputy general director, co-owner and co-founder of Trung Nguyen Group, but the very next day Vu dismissed her for a second time, accusing her of threatening his partners.
Trung Nguyen Group is Vietnam’s leading coffee firm in Vietnam. It earned revenues of VND3.95 trillion ($170.5 million) and pretax profits of VND681 billion ($29.4 million) in 2017.