Apax Leaders case takes another curious turn

By Le Nguyen   January 27, 2024 | 12:00 am PT
Apax Leaders case takes another curious turn
Parents wait at an Apax Leaders center in HCMC's Phu Nhuan District to get back the tuition fees they had paid, Oct. 12, 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Le Nguyen
Apax Leaders promised the HCMC Department of Education and Training last month it would refund tuition fees paid by students at its HCMC centers by October, an official revealed.

At a meeting with department officials from late last month, Apax Leaders said it planned to use 20% of its profits to refund the fees by October, Ho Tan Minh, the department’s office chief, told correspondents on Thursday.

The company had earlier promised to make the refunds between October 2023 and April 2024.

Minh added that Apax Leaders only has two centers functioning in the city, and owes salaries to staff as well as rents.

Meanwhile, on Jan. 9 Nguyen Ngoc Thuy, also known as Shark Thuy, chairman of Apax Leaders, said the company would be unable to refund the fees since it faced "difficulties" after some of its centers in the city had to temporarily close because of rowdy parents coming to demand their money.

Apax Leaders is a chain of English language centers for children.

In 2020 and 2021 many people paid for their children's classes at Apax but were left in limbo as it closed centers without making any announcements.

After several rounds of negotiations, some received full refunds paid in three installments between June and August 2022.

But the rest have yet to receive any money.

Hundreds of them gathered at one of Apax’s centers in Phu Nhuan District last October to protest.

The company proposed a new repayment schedule extending until the end of 2025 before again making a U-turn in January.

The school used to have 50 centers and 22,000 students in 2019.

Now it has 38 centers, mostly in the north.

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