Ocean Group leaders resign in droves

By Anh Tu   April 17, 2022 | 08:15 pm PT
Ocean Group leaders resign in droves
An outlet of Trang Tien Ice Cream in Hanoi operated by Ocean Group. Photo courtesy of Trang Tien Ice Cream
Three out of five board members of Ocean Group, including its chairman and vice chairman, are seeking to resign amid financial difficulties and conflicts with shareholders.

The company, which has interests in real estate, hospitality and food, said it has received the resignations of Chairman Mai Huu Dat, vice chairman Nguyen Thanh Trung and director Nguyen Mai Phuong.

Two members of the supervisory board, Nguyen Huong Nga and Nguyen Thanh Tung, who represent shareholders, have also filed their resignation.

The company had fired CEO Lo Hong Hiep on April 15 and replaced him with Pham Thi Hong Nhung, former head of the supervisory board at construction firms Fecon and engineering design consultancy Tedi.

Some board members have also sold off their shares in the company this month.

Trung sold 13.5 million shares (4.5 percent stake), Nga and her family sold over 14.5 million shares and Hiep sold three million shares.

The resignations come two weeks before the annual general meeting.

Last year Ocean Group twice failed to hold the AGM, the first time due to lack of quorum and the second time because the agenda was not approved.

In 2020, asset manager IDS Equity Holdings announced it had received authorization from a group of shareholders owning more than 51 percent in Ocean Group to hold a meeting with the management, but the latter refused.

Ocean Group, which owns popular brands include Star City apartment building, Sunrise resorts, and Trang Tien Ice Cream, started seeing governance issues since 2014 when chairman Ha Van Tham was jailed in one of Vietnam’s biggest trials.

It had accumulated losses of VND2.52 trillion ($109.97 million) as of the end of last year, or 84 percent of its charter capital.

It targets post-tax profits of nearly VND18 billion this year, down 82 percent from last year.

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