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Vietnam's Coffee empire Queen abdicates Trung Nguyen throne

12:41 | 20/02/2020

Le Hoang Diep Thao has transferred all shares in the Trung Nguyen empire she ran with her ex-husband, pursuant to their final divorce ruling.    

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Thao, former deputy director of Trung Nguyen Group (TNG), is no longer on the company’s list of shareholders, TNG announced in a statement Wednesday.

She and her ex-husband were referred to in the media as the King and Queen of Vietnamese coffee.

Her ex-husband, Dang Le Nguyen Vu, founder, chairman and CEO of TNG, now owns all shares in the coffee giant and its subsidiaries and has full control of the group. He has also completed a VND1.19 trillion ($51.1 million) “difference in assets” payment to Thao following their divorce ruling on December 5 last year, TNG said.

On January 13, the Ho Chi Minh City Civil Judgment Execution Department had confirmed that it received Vu’s payment of the above VND1.19 trillion ($51.1 million) in full. The same day, the department also received a written request from the Supreme People’s Procuracy to postpone the execution of the ruling, to give it time to “consider a cassation request Thao had submitted on the judgment.”

But because Vu had already fulfilled his obligations in accordance with the judgment in question, the City Civil Judgment Execution Department went ahead with the execution and notified the Supreme People’s Procuracy of its action on January 16.

Vu and Thao, who got married in 1998, differed on how the group, which had developed one of the biggest brands in the country, should be run. In 2015, Thao filed for divorce.

In March, the court of the first instance had ruled that the stocks and cash of TNG shared by Vu and Thao, as well as the couple’s cash deposits, would be split 60:40 in Vu’s favor.

Both Thao and Vu had appealed against the entire verdict. The HCMC People’s Appellate Court on December 5 quashed both appeals, finalized the divorce, and upheld the previous judgment.

Vu will receive all of his and Thao’s stocks in the Trung Nguyen Group, estimated at over VND5.7 trillion ($244.74 million), and have sole management rights over the Trung Nguyen coffee empire, the court had ruled.

Vu would also receive six properties worth VND350 billion ($15.03 million) that were jointly owned by the couple, while Thao would get the remaining seven worth over VND376 billion ($16.48 million).

Thao would also receive cash and cash equivalents, gold and foreign currency belonging to TNG that have been deposited at banks totaling VND1.76 trillion ($75.57 million). Vu was liable to pay the difference in assets to Thao, valued at VND1.22 trillion ($52.38 million), the court had ruled.

Trung Nguyen Group, founded in 2006, is the leading coffee brand in Vietnam. The group began experiencing difficulties six years ago when Vu and Thao fell out on how the corporation should be run./.

VNF/Retail Asia