Divorcing coffee power couple squabble over settlement

By Hai Duyen   February 21, 2019 | 12:54 am PT
Divorcing coffee power couple squabble over settlement
Dang Le Nguyen Vu (R) wants to have the majority of the asset he jointly owns with Le Hoang Diep Thao. Photos by VnExpress/Thanh Nguyen
Vietnam’s so-called “coffee king” wants 70 percent of the 30 percent stake he jointly owns with his estranged wife in Trung Nguyen Group.

Dang Le Nguyen Vu, founder and chairman of the coffee giant, made this demand Wednesday at a Ho Chi Minh City court where he and his wife Le Hoang Diep Thao are seeking a divorce.

He owns 20 percent of Trung Nguyen and she owns 10 percent.

She has asked for their combined 30 percent stake to be divided equally.

The remaining 70 percent stake is held by Trung Nguyen Investment Corporation owned by the couple jointly with others, but it will not be divided.

Vu also wanted their combined assets worth an estimated VND802 billion ($34.58 million) to be divided in a similar 70-30 ratio.

Besides he has proposed giving VND10 billion ($431,135) a year to the four children they have together, while Thao wants him to give each a 5 percent stake in Trung Nguyen.

Thao proposed Thursday that she would withdraw her divorce petition, but Vu disagreed.

Last December Thao had accused Trung Nguyen Group of forging signatures to remove her from the Trung Nguyen Instant Coffee Corporations (Trung Nguyen IC) and replace her with him.

In 2006 she had been appointed Trung Nguyen's deputy general director, and she said 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.

But she alleged that in July 2014 Vu dismissed her without the board of directors' approval. He had also instructed his employees to demolish her office and block her from entering the company's headquarters, she said.

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 a top coffee firm in Vietnam. It earned revenues of VND3.95 trillion ($170.5 million) and profit before tax of VND681 billion ($29.4 million) in 2017.

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