The long-going divorce drama at Trung Nguyen has just seen the latest dispute erupt over G7 products, drawing in the General Department of Vietnam Customs and other government agencies.
|Dang Le Nguyen Vu and Le Hoang Diep Thao |
Due to violations of intellectual property rights, Trung Nguyen JSC required the General Department of Vietnam Customs to temporarily halt the export procedures for all G7 products manufactured by Trung Nguyen Instant Coffee JSC's (Trung Nguyen IC) Bac Giang branch, which is under the management of Le Hoang Diep Thao, the wife of Trung Nguyen’s chairman Dang Le Nguyen Vu.
In addition, Trung Nguyen JSC has also requested the market regulator to stop the domestic sales of G7 products manufactured by Thao.
However, vietnamnet.vn quoted the Department of Market Management as saying that there are insufficient grounds to prove that Trung Nguyen IC’s Bac Giang branch has imitated Trung Nguyen’s G7 brand.
Most recently, Trung Nguyen sent document with the similar argument to General Department of Vietnam Customs. Afterwards, the department has sent a document to the Ministry of Industry and Trade's (MoIT) Department of Market Management to jointly resolve the issue.
Previously, the dispute between Trung Nguyen Group and Thao, the group’s former deputy general director, had caused a stir again as it has been revealed that the group’s subsidiary—Trung Nguyen Instant Coffee JSC (Trung Nguyen IC)—in mid-2017 sued Thao at the Bac Giang People’s Court for illegally seizing the company’s seals and the Bac Giang branch’s legal documents. Trung Nguyen IC asked Thao to pay a compensation of $75.2 million.
On May 16, Thao rejected Trung Nguyen IC as well as her husband Vu’s accusations. Thao argued that Vu was not Trung Nguyen IC’s legal representative because at the time Vu was the legal representative of Trung Nguyen Group, thus his dual representative positions would have led to a clash of interests and was against the company’s charter.
The dispute exploded in April 2015, when Vu suddenly dismissed Thao from her position as the group’s deputy general director. In a complaint sent to the Binh Duong People’s Court in November 2015, Thao said that in October of the same year Vu organised a management board meeting without her to dismiss her from her positions as the chairman of the board of management and deputy general director.
Thao filed for divorce at the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Court in November 2015. Until now, after nearly three years, the divorce proceedings have yet to end, mainly because of the division of common assets.
Accordingly, in August 2017, the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Court applied urgent interim measures to ensure joint ownership rights over their common assets, which include 93 per cent of Trung Nguyen Group’s tangible and intangible assets, including the subsidiary Trung Nguyen IC.