Coffee King to manage Trung Nguyen empire after divorce, court says

Vietnam’s Coffee King will manage the Trung Nguyen Group and own 60 percent of shared assets, the court has ruled.

In its divorce settlement ruling, the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Court said Wednesday that the stocks and cash of the Trung Nguyen Coffee group shared by Dang Le Nguyen Vu and Le Hoang Diep Thao will be split 60:40 in Vu’s favor.

Their properties, including land and buildings, will be split equally, the court ruled. 

The value of the couple’s combined stake in the group is estimated at over VND5.7 trillion ($245.14 million).

The court also ruled that since the division of the company’s shares will cause difficulties in managing the company, Vu would buy all of Thao’s shares with cash and the latter will no longer be a Trung Nguyen shareholder.

The court explained its decision saying Vu had contributed more than Thao to establishing and developing the company.

The cash deposits of the couple, valued at VND1.76 trillion ($75.69 million), will also be divided 60:40 in Vu’s favor. 

The court also said that 13 properties (buildings and land) that the couple own will be divided equally. Thao will raise the four children they have had together, and Vu will give them VND10 billion ($431,135) a year starting 2013 until they graduate from college.

Responding to the court’s verdict, Thao said: "This is too unfair to me."

Vu and Thao married in 1998. They started to have conflicts in 2013, and Thao filed for divorce in 2015.

Thao had previously proposed that she gets 51 percent (VND2.11 trillion or $90.7 million) of Trung Nguyen Investment, a company which owns the majority of shares of Trung Nguyen Group.

She had also proposed that Vu and her each own 15 percent (VND814 billion, $35 million) of Trung Nguyen Group and 7.5 percent (VND43 billion, $1.85 million) of Trung Nguyen Instant Coffee. Thao agreed to give Vu her shares in the other four companies under Trung Nguyen brand.

But Vu wanted to have 70 percent of all of companies under the Trung Nguyen brand and to buy the remaining shares from Thao in cash.

Trung Nguyen Group is a 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. It has 200,000 coffee stores in the country.

By Hai Duyen (vnexpress)

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