Final settlement in coffee royalty divorce after six years

By Hai Duyen   May 7, 2021 | 12:51 am PT
Final settlement in coffee royalty divorce after six years
Le Hoang Diep Thao (L) and Dang Le Nguyen Vu. Photo by VnExpress/Thanh Nguyen.
A court has ordered a final settlement in the $345 million divorce between coffee giant Trung Nguyen Group’s chairman and his ex-wife, ending a protracted six-year legal battle.

Dang Le Nguyen Vu, chairman and CEO of the group, will get 59.1 percent of the combined assets of VND7.93 trillion ($345 million), while his ex-wife Le Hoang Diep Thao gets the remaining 40.9 percent, the Supreme People’s Court has ordered. This is the final order in this case and no further appeal is possible.

Seventy-one percent of the assets are shares in Trung Nguyen – a leading coffee producer in Vietnam established 25 years ago – while the rest is mostly in cash and property.

The court ruled that the total value of the shares, estimated at VND5.65 trillion, be split 60:40 in Vu’s favor and that he would retain his management of Trung Nguyen after purchasing all of Thao’s shares.

Thao gets all the cash holdings worth VND1.55 trillion.

Of the 13 properties worth VND726 billion that the two own together, Vu gets six and Thao seven.

Thao will be in charge of taking care of their four children, for each Vu must provide VND10 billion a year from 2013 until they graduate from college.

Vu, 49, and Thao, 47, married in 1998. The marriage ran into trouble in 2013 and Thao filed for divorce in 2015.

Thao had previously proposed that she gets 51 percent 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 the 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 four other companies under the Trung Nguyen brand.

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

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