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07 January 2022 : Group Lease requests Court to consider criminal charges against JTA, 2 others after won business rehabilitation case

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Mr. Tatsuya Konoshita, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Group Lease Public Company Limited, revealed “back on 11 April 2018, GL filed criminal charges against JTA and 2 JTA Directors: Nobuyoshi Fujisawa and Shigeyoshi Asano (now former Director of JTA), for jointly submitting a petition for business rehabilitation against GL, which falsely claimed that GL falls under the requirements for business rehabilitation. This caused GL to incur reputational damage and lose credibility amongst investors, which negatively affected the value of the shares of the Company. Recently, on 22 December 2021, the Supreme Court of Thailand gave a favorable result to GL when it denied JTA’s application to review the rehabilitation case brought forward by JTA. There is no more appeal for JTA about this and it’s final. We are happy that we can move on and show that JTA’s claim that GL falls under the business rehabilitation state was groundless, and this will give more assurances to the Company’s investors and stakeholders on the Company’s status.”

Mr. Riki Ishigami, Chief Executive Officer of Group Lease Public Company Limited, stated, “while we are happy the Supreme Court ended this saga about GL being rehabilitated, JTA, Nobuyoshi Fujisawa and Shigeyoshi Asano committed criminal acts in our view based on Section 90/80 of the Bankruptcy Act, 1940.  They submitted a false rehabilitation claim to the Bankruptcy Court about GL. The case has been temporarily struck out pending the final judgment of the rehabilitation case. Therefore, on 30 December 2021, GL asked the Central Bankruptcy Court to resume the criminal case against them. The Court has set an appointment to consider the resume of the proceeding on 14 February 2022. Punishment for their crime if this case is successful could be up to THB 300,000 and/or up to 3 years of prison and we will seek justice for our shareholders by chasing JTA and their Directors individually to make them compensate for the loss they created for GL and our shareholders and also make them face the consequences of their actions in criminal cases. In Thailand, it is the Central Bankruptcy Court which hears criminal complaints regarding false rehabilitation claims. This is the same court which ruled in GL’s favor that GL does not fall under the requirements for business rehabilitation.  

Additionally, I want to add that GL still has an active civil claim against JTA for THB 9.13 billion due to damage they caused GL and GL’s shareholders and we are appealing a Court of Appeals decision which took away THB 685.5 million that the Court originally awarded GL due to JTA’s harmful bankruptcy court actions. In our Supreme Court Appeal for the THB 685.5 million, we will include the Supreme Court’s rejection of JTA’s business rehabilitation appeal.

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23 December 2021 : Group Lease gets Favorable Result from Thai Supreme Court

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December 23, 2021

Mr. Tatsuya Konoshita, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Group Lease Public Company Limited, revealed “on 22 December 2021, the Supreme Court of Thailand gave a favorable result to GL when it denied JTA’s application to hear the rehabilitation case brought forward by JTA. The Central Bankruptcy Court first rejected JTA’s claim that GL was bankrupt and this was confirmed by the Court of Appeal for Specialized Cases. Even after two legal defeats, JTA tried to appeal to the Supreme Court but today the Court ruled that Supreme Court’s decision will not significantly differ from the Appeal Court judgment and so the Supreme Court rejected JTA’s appeal, thus ending the case. There is no more appeal for JTA about this and it’s final. We are happy that we can move on and show that JTA’s claim that GL is bankrupt was a sham.”

Mr. Riki Ishigami, Chief Executive Officer of Group Lease Public Company Limited, stated, “while we are happy the Supreme Court ended this saga about GL being bankrupt, fighting and winning three legal battles about it was very expensive and damaged our reputation a lot in Thailand and internationally. We must make sure JTA is held accountable for their actions and for the damage they caused GL’s shareholders. Now that the Thai legal system has confirmed and finalized that GL is not bankrupt and that JTA’s claim was a lie, this will strengthen our demand for compensation and we will use these court judgements as evidence in our favor including in the civil claim GL filed against JTA seeking 9,130 million baht in damages and legal expenses for JTA’s bad faith legal actions for the period of 20 March 2018 to 11 September 2020. Also, we will use this Supreme Court result in our current appeal to the Supreme Court about the case where we originally won 685 million baht in damages from JTA’s bankruptcy claim against GL. The 685 million baht was overturned at the Appeal Court level, however, based on the Supreme Court’s view today, we expect the Supreme Court to take a more favorable view on our claim and we are hopeful the Supreme Court agrees with the original court.”

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13 September 2021 : GL in Indonesia will stop issuing new loans due to JTA’s actions

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13 Sep 2021

Mr. Tatsuya Konoshita, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Group Lease Public Company Limited, stated “the Company’s Board of Directors decided not to inject additional capital into the Company’s subsidiary in Indonesia, PT Group Lease Finance Indonesia (“GLFI”) and GLFI will stop issuing new loans and will only collect payments from its existing portfolio. It was required by the Indonesian Financial Authority (“OJK”) to increase new capital into GLFI by the existing 3 shareholders (Group Lease Holdings Pte. Ltd. (“GLH”), J Trust Asia Pte. Ltd. (“JTA”), and PT Wijaya Infrastructure Indonesia) by roughly around USD 3 million or THB 98 million. However, JTA refused to increase the capital.

Not only did JTA refuse the capital increase, but due to JTA’s actions in Singapore in getting the Singapore High Court to put GLH under an injunction, GLH cannot increase the capital by itself due to the injunction. The Company considered to increase such capital by itself, then a new minimum capital requirement would be implemented to GLFI. The new capital requirement is a requirement for all finance companies in Indonesia and to meet the requirement when bringing in additional shareholders. The Company would need to invest roughly USD 11 million or roughly THB 361 million in new equity into GLFI. However, due to the Covid-19 situation, JTA’s lawsuits against the Company’s group in various jurisdictions, and the Singapore injunction against GLH caused by JTA, the Company decided not to further invest into GLFI at this time.

The Company is disappointed JTA prevented GLH from investing into GLFI which will cause GLFI to not meet a capital requirement for OJK and thus prevent GLFI from being able to issue new loans. GLFI will continue to collect payment from its existing portfolio. The Company is reviewing with our legal advisors to see what action to take due to the harm JTA has caused GLH, GLFI, and the Company. We will continue to fight for our shareholders and protect our business.”

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13 July 2021 : Singapore Judgment Against GLH Fully Paid, Injunction Against GLH Removed and KPMG Concern Solved

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13 Jul 2021

Mr. Tatsuya Konoshita, Acting Chief Financial Officer of Group Lease Public Company Limited, revealed “on 12 July 2021, GLH paid the remaining portion of the Singapore Judgement against GLH and now the GLH judgement has been paid in full. In the 6 October 2020 decision, the High Court of Singapore ruled that GLH and other defendants are jointly and severally liable for damages amounting to around $70 million or roughly THB 2,187 million, approximately only 30% of what JTA had claimed. Most of the damages awarded, $49 million (approximately THB 1,527 million), related to the $50 million convertible debentures that was due to JTA in March 2020 but that GL withheld due to JTA’s actions.

By completing payment of the Singapore Judgement, this resolves one of the major concerns of KPMG in regards to the Company’s financial statements of 2020 and legal uncertainty. With the Singapore Judgement satisfied and the injunction against GLH removed, this is no longer a concern for our business and neither for KPMG and is a step forward to help us be able to disclose our 2020 financial statement.”

Mr. Riki Ishigami, Chief Executive Officer of Group Lease Public Company Limited, stated, “we are pleased to satisfy the Singapore Judgement against GLH. By completing payment for this judgement, we not only removed the injunction against GLH which will allow us to utilize all the assets of the Group for our shareholder’s benefit, but it also shows that the Company has the ability and financial strength to pay such a judgement. Now we can better focus on our business and move on to the next step for GL after the Covid situation improves.”

For more information, please contact
Sutisa Trikisyasopon / Phoomrapee Siriban
Siam PR Consultant Co., Ltd.
Tel. 0-2693-7835 Ext. 25 / 21
Mobile. 098-996-2454 / 081-587-5199

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08 January 2021 : Singapore Judgment Against GLH Already Partially Paid, Payment in Full Already Offered to JTA and Waiting Approval

Singapore Judgment Against GLH Already Partially Paid, Payment in Full Already Offered to JTA and Waiting Approval

08 Jan 2021

Mr. Tatsuya Konoshita, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Group Lease Public Company Limited, revealed “on 7 January 2021, GL paid $37,000,000 (more than THB 1,100,000,000) to JTA in Singapore for payment of the Singapore Judgement against GLH. In the 6 October 2020 decision, the High Court of Singapore ruled that GLH and other defendants are jointly and severally liable for damages amounting to around $70 million or roughly THB 2,187 million, approximately only 30% of what JTA had claimed. Most of the damages awarded, $49 million (approximately THB 1,527 million), related to the $50 million convertible debentures that was due to JTA in March 2020 but that GL withheld due to JTA’s actions.

Besides GL Thailand sending $37,000,000 for the judgement, previously we have already paid roughly $24 million (THB 685,000,000 plus interest) in the form of an offset from a Thai judgment. On 5 March, 2020, the Civil Court in Thailand ruled that that JTA acted in bad faith by filing the false rehabilitation petition against GL in Thailand. The Court also ruled that JTA’s actions caused damages and ordered JTA to pay THB 685.5 million, including lawyer fees, to GL. GL transferred the right of this judgement to GLH which already used it to offset and reduce the amount GLH owned to JTA in Singapore.

GLH was not the only defendant in the Singapore judgement as some of the “Cyprus Borrowers” who owed GL money were also defendants and therefore liable. Some of these borrowers will help pay the Singapore judgement by paying the remaining portion, roughly $9 million, directly to JTA instead of to GLH. Currently the Cyprus Borrowers have the cash in their bank accounts, but those accounts are under injunction due to JTA.”

Mr. Riki Ishigami, Chief Executive Officer of Group Lease Public Company Limited, stated, “we are pleased to offer a full payment plan to JTA to satisfy the Singapore judgement against GLH. Together with the $37 million from Thailand, the THB 685 million plus interest judgement from the Thai court, and roughly $9 million from the Cyprus borrowers, we have offered and are in the process of making payment in full for the Singapore judgement against GLH. It is important to note that not only will this end the Singapore judgement against GLH, but also that some of the disputed GLH borrowers paid roughly $9 million on behalf of GLH—showing that we are still able to collect from them when JTA is not interfering legally. GL Group is now ready to re-expand its business internationally with a strong balance sheet and large cash position.”

For more information, please contact
Sutisa Trikisyasopon / Phoomrapee Siriban
Siam PR Consultant Co., Ltd.
Tel. 0-2693-7835 Ext. 25 / 21
Mobile. 098-996-2454 / 081-587-5199

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30 October 2020 : The transfer of shares in Group Lease Public Company Limited by Major Shareholder

The transfer of shares in Group Lease Public Company Limited by Major Shareholder

30 Oct 2020

Group Lease Public Company Limited (“Company”) would like to notify that A.P.F. Holdings Company Limited (“APFH”) has completed the sale of 156,911,191 shares in the Company, representing 10.285% of the total issued shares in the Company. After such transfer of shares, APFH together with Engine Holdings Asia Pte. Ltd. will remain the holder of Company’s shares in an aggregate amount of 403,565,553 shares, representing 26.45% of the total issued shares in the Company. There is no effect on control power of the Company or its business policy including the structure of the Company’s board of directors and executives. In addition, the Company has been informed that the transferees are business partners having long-standing relationship with APFH and have strong desire to hold shares in the Company. APFH further informed that the transferees have expressed their intention to hold the shares in the Company for long term and to give full support to the Company from all possible aspects.

Please be informed accordingly.

Yours sincerely,

Mr. Tatsuya Konoshita
Deputy Chief Executive Officer

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15 October 2020 : GL announces leadership reorganization and new CEO, Tatsuya will remain at GL as Deputy CEO and Director

GL announces leadership reorganization and new CEO, Tatsuya will remain at GL as Deputy CEO and Director

15 Oct 2020

Mr. Tatsuya Konoshita, former Chief Executive Officer of Group Lease Public Company Limited, stated that “I am happy to inform investors that Group Lease will have a new CEO who has been leader in the GL Group in Asia for more than 8 years. As GL moves forward from litigation and focuses more on business operations, GL decided on having a more operationally focused CEO. As such, Riki Ishigami will be the new Chief Executive Officer of Group Lease Public Company Limited. Furthermore, I will remain at Group Lease as one of our Deputy CEOs and focus on investor relations. Kaname Hashimoto is also join me as a Deputy CEO and he will focus on Myanmar and Laos. All of us are already Directors of Group Lease PCL.

Riki Ishigami established GL’s first subsidiary outside of Thailand, GLF in Cambodia, in 2012 and was in charge of GLF ever since. GLF was the first licensed finance company in Cambodia and started with a few employees and no dealerships. Riki drove all across Cambodia, negotiating with dealers and setting up all aspects of the business. He built and managed the business and now GLF has more than 200 dealers and has been the largest leasing company in Cambodia during these last 8 years. Riki was the pioneer of GL’s ‘Digital Finance’ model which, after success in Cambodia, was launched in Laos and Myanmar. Riki’s knowledge and operational know-how will help serve GL Group as we continue to focus more on operational results—both in Thailand and abroad.

Kaname Hashimoto, besides being a Director of GL, is already the Managing Director of three GL subsidiaries: GL-AMMK and BG Microfinance, both in Myanmar, and of GL Leasing in Laos. After successfully launching GL in Laos, Kaname expanded the GL Group to Myanmar focusing on hire purchase for motorcycles and also our newest product, microloans. Kaname will continue to focus his efforts in Myanmar and Laos as well as advise our new CEO on GL Group operations.

Mr. Riki Ishigami, current Chief Executive Officer of Group Lease Public Company Limited, said “this is a leadership reorganization—not a leadership change. Kaname, Tatsuya, and I have all been GL Directors and in key management roles at GL for many years. Due to the change in focus at GL, we have reorganized our leaders in the roles best suited for the Company and the shareholders.”

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08 October 2020 : Court of Appeal of Singapore rules against GLH, liable for damages of roughly US$70 million (approximately THB 2,187 million)

Court of Appeal of Singapore rules against GLH, liable for damages of roughly US$70 million (approximately THB 2,187 million)

08 Oct 2020

Mr. Tatsuya Konoshita, Chief Executive Officer of Group Lease Public Company Limited, stated “In December 2017, JTrust Asia “JTA” filed a civil lawsuit against Group Lease Holdings “GLH” (our Singapore entity) alleging GLH committed torts of deceit and conspiracy to misrepresent the financial position of Group Lease “GL” to entice JTA to invest into GL and seeking around US$230 million or roughly THB 7,183 million in damages. On 12 February 2020, the High Court of Singapore dismissed JTA’s claims against all defendants and ordered JTA to pay the costs of the defendants including GLH.

Yesterday the Court of Appeal of Singapore revised the judgment of the High Court and rendered the decision granting JTA’s claims partially and ruling that GLH and other defendants are jointly and severally liable for damages amounting to around US$70 million or roughly THB 2,187 million, approximately only 30% of what JTA had claimed. The remaining 70% of JTA’s claim (or about US$160 million or roughly THB 5,656 million including damages allegedly concerning second convertible debentures in the amount of US$130 million (approximately THB 4,060 million)) was rejected by the Court of Appeal.

Most of the damages awarded, US$49 million (approximately THB 1,527 million), relate to the US$50 million convertible debentures that was due to JTA in March 2020 but that we, GL, withheld as discussed in a previous press release. Please refer to the link below:

https://investor.grouplease.international/news.html/id/790125/group/home

For this judgement, although we have the ability to repay, we still have ongoing litigation in Thailand including JTA’s appeal of the 5 March 2020 judgement where the Civil Court in Thailand ruled that that JTA’s filing of the rehabilitation petition against GL constituted the tort of abuse of process. That Court ruled that JTA’s actions caused damages and ordered JTA to pay THB 685.5 million to GL. Additionally, on 11 September 2020, GL filed a civil claim against JTA claiming THB 9,130 million in damages for JTA’s continued abuse of legal process in Thailand and other jurisdictions. Please refer to the link below:

https://investor.grouplease.international/news.html/id/798626/group/home

We will continue to fight for our shareholders and protect our business.”

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29 September 2020 : The Court of Appeal for Specialized Cases (Bankruptcy Division) upheld the decision to dismiss the rehabilitation petition submitted by JTA against GL. The decision is final

The Court of Appeal for Specialized Cases (Bankruptcy Division) upheld the decision to dismiss the rehabilitation petition submitted by JTA against GL. The decision is final

29 Sep 2020

Mr. Alain Dufes, Chief Financial Officer of Group Lease Public Company Limited, revealed that “on 29 September 2020, the Central Bankruptcy Court read the Court of Appeal for Specialized Cases (Bankruptcy Division) (“CASC”)’s Judgment. The CASC, in favor of GL, upheld the Central Bankruptcy Court’s decision to dismiss the rehabilitation petition submitted by JTA against GL.”

Mr. Tatsuya Konoshita, Chief Executive Officer of Group Lease Public Company Limited, stated, “we are pleased the Court has given final clarity on this case and found that GL’s robust business does not need rehabilitation. The consecutive three dismissals of JTA’s claims is a strong indication that the Court, at multiple levels, rejected JTA’s arguments.

Our strong belief that JTA’s argument were invalid led us to previously sue JTA for their bad faith legal actions, which on 5 March 2020, the Thai Civil Court agreed with our claim and ordered JTA to pay THB 685.5 million to GL. However, that claim was only for the period of 10 January 2018 to 19 March 2018 during the first automatic stay brought about by JTA’s conduct. Since then, as shown by today’s ruling, JTA continued its abusive court actions against GL.

As a response, earlier this month, GL filed a civil claim seeking 9,130 million baht in damages and legal expenses for JTA’s bad faith legal actions for the period of 20 March 2018 to 11 September 2020. GL is thankful for the Court’s conclusion and we hope this judgement persuades JTA to abandon their bad faith legal strategy.”

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18 September 2020 : Group Lease Public Company Limited seeks 9,130 million baht in damages from JTA and Directors in Thailand

Group Lease Public Company Limited seeks 9,130 million baht in damages from JTA and Directors in Thailand

18 Sep 2020

Mr. Alain Dufes, Chief Financial Officer of Group Lease Public Company Limited, revealed “on 11 September 2020, GL filed a civil claim against JTrust Asia Pte Ltd. (“JTA”) in Thailand seeking 9,130 million baht (roughly $292 million) in damages. This claim is similar to the previous civil claim we won on 5 March 2020 where the Court ruled that JTA was guilty of abuse of process in regards to the rehabilitation petition against GL in Thailand. In that case, the Court ruled that JTA’s actions caused damages and ordered JTA to pay 685.5 million baht, including lawyer fees, to GL as of 5 March 2020.

The damages awarded to GL on 5 March 2020 related to the automatic stay period from 10 January 2018 to 19 March 2018—a total of 68 days plus litigation costs. However, JTA continued to commit wrongful acts against GL even after 19 March 2018. JTA did not accept the Bankruptcy Court’s 19 March 2018 ruling and appealed shortly after. As a result, the Central Bankruptcy Court again reviewed the case which resulted in another and even longer automatic stay for GL, which eventually the Court again dismissed JTA’s claims in favor of GL. Still, JTA refused to accept the Court’s conclusion and appealed. These JTA actions and other legal actions by JTA against GL in Thailand and against GL’s subsidiary in Singapore have caused damages in GL continuously. Further, it turned out that these JTA actions have been decided and instructed by JTrust Co., Ltd. (“JTrust”), JTA’s parent company, and two directors, thus GL has now claimed in this civil case against JTrust and the directors as well.”

Mr. Tatsuya Konoshita, Chief Executive Officer of Group Lease Public Company Limited, stated, “as long as JTrust and their companies continue its bad faith legal strategy and using the courts as its instrument to harm GL, then GL will continue to seek compensation for that damage. The claim filed 11 September 2020 and court fees paid on 17 September 2020, covers the period from 20 March 2018 to 11 September 2020. Since the court in Thailand previously awarded GL 10 million baht per day in damages for JTA’s actions, GL is seeking 9,070 million baht in damage plus 60 million baht for legal fees for a total of 9,130 million baht.”