Former Luckin Chairman Loses Control of Coffee Chain in Court

前Luckin董事长在法庭上失去对咖啡连锁店的控制权

2020/07/14 19:27  Dow Jones Newswires

*DJ British Virgin Islands Court Rules in Favor of Winding Up Charles Lu's Shares in Luckin Coffee -- Sources

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July 14, 2020 07:27 ET (11:27 GMT)

*DJ Centurium Capital Has the Most Voting Rights in Luckin Coffee -- Sources

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July 14, 2020 07:27 ET (11:27 GMT)

*DJ Liquidator KPMG is the biggest shareholder of Luckin Coffee -- Sources

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July 14, 2020 07:27 ET (11:27 GMT)

DJ Former Luckin Chairman Loses Control of Coffee Chain in Court


By Jing Yang

HONG KONG-- Charles Lu, the co-founder and former chairman of Luckin Coffee Inc., has lost control of all his shares in the Chinese coffee chain following a recent court ruling, according to people familiar with the matter.

A court in the British Virgin Islands granted on July 9 an application by banks to wind up Haode Investments Inc., an entity controlled by Mr. Lu's family trust that holds Luckin shares, and appointed KPMG as the liquidator of the assets, according to the people.

Mr. Lu has 14 days from the date of the ruling to appeal the decision, some of the people said. He didn't respond to requests for comment.

With the court's decision, Centurium Capital, a Chinese private-equity firm and an early backer of Luckin, has the most voting rights in the company, thanks to its holdings of so-called Class B shares that carry 10 times the votes of regular shares. Centurium now controls about 43% of Luckin's voting rights, according to a person familiar with the matter and calculations based on Luckin's filings.

On Monday, Luckin said Mr. Lu stepped down from the chairman post and is no longer a director on its board after a shareholder meeting last week. He has been replaced by Jinyi Guo, a longtime business associate of Mr. Lu's who will also serve as Luckin's permanent chief executive.

The Wall Street Journal reported last week that Mr. Lu determined the outcome of the shareholder vote, which has changed the composition of the company's board of directors.

Mr. Lu, who used to be Luckin's largest shareholder, defaulted on a $533 million margin loan from banks including units of Credit Suisse Group AG, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Barclays PLC, CICC and Haitong International after a disclosure of fabricated sales by Luckin caused its American depositary shares to plunge in value. Luckin's market capitalization topped $12 billion in January and has since fallen to less than $1 billion.

The three-year-old upstart rival to Starbucks Corp. in China revealed in April that more than $300 million of its 2019 sales were fabricated. Luckin has fired co-founder and CEO Jenny Qian and more than a dozen other employees, and its shares have been delisted from the Nasdaq Stock Market. They now trade on the over-the-counter market.

Banks earlier seized and sold some Luckin shares owned by Mr. Lu and Ms. Qian, and took legal action to wind up other entities in another offshore jurisdiction that Mr. Lu and his sister controlled.

The British Virgin Islands court has also granted creditors' application to wind up Summer Fame Ltd., an entity controlled by the family trust of Ms. Qian that holds Luckin shares, the people familiar with the matter said. She couldn't be reached for comment.

After the ruling and a similar court order last month in the Cayman Islands to wind up another of Mr. Lu's entities, KPMG, the court-appointed liquidator, owns about 18% of Luckin's Class A shares, according to people familiar with the matter and calculations based on Luckin's public filings.

Mr. Lu and Ms. Qian founded Luckin in 2017 and set out to challenge Starbucks's dominance in China and get Chinese consumers hooked on premium coffee. By the end of 2019, Luckin had opened more than 4,500 outlets across the country and said it was China's biggest coffee chain by stores, even though its sales fell short of its Starbucks's.

The Wall Street Journal reported in May that Luckin inflated sales by booking numerous purchases of vouchers that could be exchanged for cups of coffee. Some of the companies that bought such vouchers in bulk, as well as a company that received payments from Luckin for raw materials, had ties to Mr. Lu, according to the Journal's reporting.

An internal investigation by Luckin concluded that Mr. Lu "knew or should have known" of the fabricated transactions, the Journal previously reported. Mr. Lu denied that in an earlier email to the Journal.

Write to Jing Yang at Jing.Yang@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

July 14, 2020 07:27 ET (11:27 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

*DJ英属维尔京群岛法院裁决有利于清盘Charles Lu在Luckin Coffee的股份-消息来源

(更多后续报道)道琼斯通讯社

2020年7月14日东部时间07:27(格林尼治标准时间11:27)

*DJ Centurium Capital在Luckin Coffee拥有最多投票权--消息人士

(更多后续报道)道琼斯通讯社

2020年7月14日东部时间07:27(格林尼治标准时间11:27)

*DJ清盘公司毕马威是Luckin Coffee的最大股东--消息人士

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2020年7月14日东部时间07:27(格林尼治标准时间11:27)

DJ前Luckin董事长在法庭上失去咖啡连锁店控制权


杨静(音译)著

香港-据知情人士透露,Luckin Coffee Inc.的联合创始人兼前董事长陆兆禧(Charles Lu)在最近的一项法院裁决后,已经失去了对这家中国咖啡连锁店的所有股份的控制权。

据知情人士透露,英属维尔京群岛的一家法院7月9日批准了银行提出的清盘豪德投资公司(Haode Investments Inc.)的申请,并指定毕马威(KPMG)为这些资产的清算人。浩德投资公司是陆兆禧家族信托控制的实体,持有Luckin的股份。

一些知情人士说,自裁决之日起,陆兆禧有14天的时间对判决提出上诉。他没有回复记者的置评请求。

根据法院的裁决,中国私募股权公司、Luckin的早期支持者Centurium Capital拥有该公司最多的投票权,这要归功于它持有的所谓B类股的投票权是普通股的10倍。一位知情人士称,根据Luckin提交的文件和计算结果,Centurium现在控制着Luckin约43%的投票权。

Luckin周一说,陆兆禧在上周的股东大会后辞去董事长职务,不再担任董事会董事。接替他的是陆兆禧的长期商业伙伴郭锦仪,他也将担任Luckin的永久首席执行长。

华尔街日报上周报导称,陆兆禧决定了股东投票的结果,这改变了公司董事会的组成。

曾是Luckin最大股东的陆兆禧拖欠了瑞信集团(Credit Suisse Group AG)、摩根士丹利(Morgan Stanley)、高盛集团(Goldman Sachs Group Inc.)、巴克莱(Barclays PLC)、中金公司(CICC)和海通国际(Haitong International)等银行一笔5.33亿美元的保证金贷款,此前Luckin的虚假销售披露导致其美国存托股票价值暴跌。Luckin的市值在1月份突破120亿美元,此后下降到不到10亿美元。

这家成立三年的星巴克公司(Starbucks Corp.)在中国的竞争对手星巴克(Starbucks Corp.)在4月份透露,其2019年的销售额中有超过3亿美元是捏造的。Luckin已经解雇了联合创始人兼首席执行官詹妮·钱和其他十几名员工,其股票已经从纳斯达克股票市场退市。他们现在在场外交易市场进行交易。

银行早些时候查封并出售了陆兆禧和钱女士持有的部分Luckin股票,并采取法律行动清盘了陆兆禧和他妹妹控制的另一个离岸司法管辖区的其他实体。

知情人士说,英属维尔京群岛法院还批准了债权人清盘Summer Fame Ltd.的申请。Summer Fame Ltd.是一家由钱学森家族信托控制的实体,持有Luckin的股票。记者无法联系到她置评。

据知情人士说,在上述裁决以及上个月开曼群岛法院下令清盘陆兆禧的另一家实体后,法院指定的清算人毕马威(KPMG)拥有Luckin约18%的A类股,并根据Luckin的公开申报文件进行了计算。

陆兆禧和钱学森于2017年创立了Luckin,开始挑战星巴克在中国的主导地位,让中国消费者迷上优质咖啡。截至2019年底,Luckin已经在全国开设了4500多家门店,并表示它是中国门店最多的咖啡连锁店,尽管其销售额低于星巴克。

华尔街日报5月份报道称,Luckin通过预订大量购买的代金券来夸大销售额,这些代金券可以换取一杯咖啡。据“华尔街日报”报道,一些批量购买此类代金券的公司,以及一家从Luckin那里收到原材料付款的公司,都与陆兆禧有联系。

“华尔街日报”此前报道,Luckin的一项内部调查得出结论,陆兆禧“知道或应该知道”这些虚假交易。陆川在早些时候给“华尔街日报”的一封电子邮件中否认了这一说法。

写信给景阳,邮箱是jing.Yang@wsj.com

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2020年7月14日东部时间07:27(格林尼治标准时间11:27)

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