Arrested owner of English center chain Apax Leaders transfers management rights to sister

By Tat Dat   March 26, 2024 | 12:34 am PT
Arrested owner of English center chain Apax Leaders transfers management rights to sister
Egroup chairman Nguyen Ngoc Thuy. Photo courtesy of Apax Leaders
Nguyen Ngoc Thuy, chairman of Egroup, which owns the English language center chain Apax Leaders, has transferred all his shares and management rights in the company to his sister Nguyen Thi Dung.

A press release from Egroup on Tuesday revealed that Thuy has handed over the management rights and all his shares in the company and its subsidiary Egame to Dung.

Dung, a director at Egroup, mentioned in the statement that Thuy is cooperating with investigators to clarify relevant issues.

Egroup's leadership is convening to ensure continuity in operations, prioritizing the educational rights of its students and the interests of its customers, partners, and shareholders, she added.

Thuy, 41, an investor known for his appearances on the TV reality investment show Shark Tank Vietnam in 2018 and 2019, was arrested on Monday. He faces fraud allegations after several Egroup investors accused him of misappropriating their funds through share sales in the company.

Egroup operates in diverse sectors, including education, healthcare, and food. Since 2017, Egroup and two of its subsidiaries have been inviting investors to contribute financially in exchange for shares and to purchase their bonds. However, since 2020, Egroup has defaulted on the promised interest payments.

There have also been reports of Apax Leaders delaying salary payments to its employees. Parents have raised concerns over the school's failure to meet its educational obligations, demanding tuition refunds.

Thuy explained to VnExpress in 2022-end that the pandemic led to the closure of his educational facilities in 2020 and 2021, significantly disrupting Egroup’s cash flows.

Investors, however, have voiced concerns that Egroup redirected the funds raised from them towards investments in stocks, cryptocurrencies, and real estate.

Earlier this month, the HCMC Department of Education and Training reported that Apax Leaders owes nearly VND94 billion (US$3.81 million) in tuition refunds in the city alone. The chain is also behind on VND11.5 billion in salary payments to its employees and VND9 billion in rental dues.

According to data from Vietnam Social Insurance and the HCMC Tax Department, Apax Leaders had unpaid insurance premiums for employees totaling over VND32 billion and taxes amounting to VND15 billion as of last year.

Licensed in 2016, Apax Leaders operates 120 centers nationwide with around 120,000 students, as stated on its website. The institution closed many of its centers in 2020 and 2021.

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