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02 September 2022 : Supreme Court Granted GL’s Leave of Final Appeal and Will Hear Our Case; Potential to Win Back THB 685 million judgement

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Mr. Tatsuya Konoshita, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Group Lease Public Company Limited said “It is a good news for GL at all. In general, the Supreme Court rejects the vast majority of applications for leave of final appeal to the Supreme Court. The fact that the Supreme Court reviewed our application for leave of final appeal (along with the final appeal) and decided to grant us the leave of final appeal shows that the Supreme Court believes that there are critical issues that the Supreme Court wants to hear so that they may make a final judgement. The Supreme Court needed to hear our case first if they wanted to reverse the Appeal Court’s decision, so we are optimistic about our chances given that if they felt JTA’s arguments were correct, the Supreme Court could have just rejected our leave of final appeal and made the issue final that way.

On March 5, 2020, the Civil Court in Thailand ruled that that JTA acted in bad faith by filing the false rehabilitation petition against Group Lease in Thailand. The Court also ruled that JTA’s actions caused damages and ordered JTA to pay THB 685 million, including lawyer fees, to GL. After that judgement, JTA appealed and the Appeal Court ruled in their favor and concluded that JTA no longer needed to pay GL. We agreed with the Court of First Instance’s judgement and therefore GL applied for leave of final appeal to the Supreme Court for a final decision.

We are proud to share that the Supreme Court has granted us our leave of final appeal and will hear our case. This is a good chance for GL to get compensation from JTA for the damages which JTA had unlawfully caused from its world-wide litigation. Additionally, this Supreme Court order would give good influence on other ongoing litigations, including the second civil case that GL filed against JTA et al for compensation in the amount of THB 9,130 million and a criminal case against JTA and the directors which GL had initiated and has been working on now”

Mr. Riki Ishigami, Chief Executive Officer of Group Lease Public Company Limited, commented “Originally, GL took civil action against JTA due to JTA’s unjustified attempt to force GL into rehabilitation, even though it is so clear GL does not meet the standards for rehabilitation. On August 15, 2019, the Central Bankruptcy Court dismissed the JTA submitted rehabilitation petition against GL for the second time. The court looked at three factors when deciding to dismiss the case:

  1. The amount of GL debt owed to JTA
  2. The amount of GL’s assets compared to GL’s liabilities
  3. The ability of GL to operate the business

Upon looking at those three factors, the court ruled that the amount that JTA claimed that GL owes JTA is unclear due JTA’s legal actions, GL has assets exceeding its liabilities and therefore is not insolvent, and finally that GL was able to operate the business as usual and therefore dismissed JTA’s petition.

We are pleased the Supreme Court has granted us our leave of final appeal and will hear our case. We appreciate all of our shareholders’ patience during this time and we will continue to fight for our shareholders.”

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09 August 2022 : Group Lease releases 2020 Financial Statement, A step forward to restart trading stock

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Mr. Tatsuya Konoshita, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Group Lease Public Company Limited, revealed “on 4 August 2022, we published our 2020 financial statement delaying 1 and half years. This statement has been delayed as we tried to resolve some issues but now, we have reached a point where we need to inform the public about GL’s performance. 2020 was a tough year due to Covid-19 and mainly an unfavorable court judgement in Singapore. In Singapore, the Court of Appeals found our Singapore subsidiary liable for roughly $71 million, of which we have already paid in full during 2021. The judgement increased our expenses by roughly $21 million in 2020 as the remainder of the judgement was merely an order to repay our existing $50 million CD with JTA.

We will try to get GL on track to trade on the SET again as soon as possible by disclosing our financial statement of 2021 and 2022. We can state that internally we always complete our accounting on time and we are ready to be audited for the years 2021 and 2022. We promise we will be keen to submit anything that will make our auditors to be satisfied. To resume trading of our stock, we need to catch up the disclosure of Financial Statement on time for 2 consequent quarters. We will work on 2021 and 2022 financial statement disclosure as hard as possible.”

Mr. Riki Ishigami, Chief Executive Officer of Group Lease Public Company Limited, stated, “we received the same disclaimer of conclusion from our auditor as we did for 3Q2020. The most important reason from GL for the disclaimer is that KPMG did not get enough satisfactory explanations or evidence in their view for some issues. GL tried it’s best to provide KPMG with as much information as possible and we provided them with many and all documents and items in our possession. We admit there is some information that both KPMG and GL would like to have, but due to circumstances out of our control, both GL and KPMG were unable to get all information requested. Like 3Q2020, rather than wait until we can obtain all information and get a clean opinion from KPMG, we felt it was important for the public to get an update on the performance of the company and for GL to work on being able to trade again on the SET, so we decided to publish financial statement for 2020 knowing that we still have issues to resolve.

KPMG also referred to uncertainly in our legal cases. As stated many times, the legal cases will remain uncertain until the courts decide on the litigation between us and JTA. We will continue to fight JTA the best we can and we remain confident that once the Thai civil case goes to trial, GL will win. We appreciate our shareholders during these times, we will come out stronger from this.

The company had gone through very tough years in 2020 and 2021 under COVID-19 pandemic and as everyone knows the political situation in Myanmar and Sri Lanka and significantly weak local currency in Laos, Myanmar and Sri Lanka had been serious issues for our operations in each country even in 2022. So the result in 2021 which we are going to catch up and release in near future won’t be greatest. However, in 2022 we have already closed our operation in Indonesia which was a negative driver of us because GLF Indonesia was a joint venture with JTrust Group, which is our litigation counter party, so that it won’t have future issues anymore there. Also, in Cambodia and Thailand the companies started to re-expand our business, both of which would be the growth drivers of GL in 2022.”

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1 July 2022: DSI Issues final non-prosecution order against GL and 2 former Directors

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July 1, 2022

Mr. Tatsuya Konoshita, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Group Lease Public Company Limited, revealed “In January 2018, criminal charges were brought from JTA to the Thai Department of Special Investigation (“DSI”) against the Company and two individuals, Muneo Tashiro and Mitsuji Konoshita, former directors of the Company. We are pleased to inform you that on 23 June 2022, the DSI issued that it had dropped the above criminal charges against the Company and former directors.

The DSI has now decided to issue a final non-prosecution order which shows that the criminal complaint filed by JTA was unfounded. We believe that the DSI’s decision on the criminal charges relating to the investment made in Thailand is a strong denial of the grounds for future trials based on the same transactions of JTA in other countries around the world. From the outset, the Company and its group companies, as well as the Company’s major shareholders and other stakeholders, have maintained that a number of lawsuits brought by J Trust Asia were abusive. It was crucial for us to go through under such doubt by the criminal case after JTA had submitted such criminal complaint based on the announcement by the Thai SEC in October 2017 when they disqualified the Company’s at the time CEO and forced the Company to restate its 2016 and 2017 financial statements. But at last the case was dropped in favor of our company”

Mr. Riki Ishigami, Chief Executive Officer of Group Lease Public Company Limited, stated, “we are happy the DSI came to the same conclusion as us: that these charges were not valid and now are permanently closed. The fact that the criminal complaint by JTA was dropped after a four-and-a-half-year investigation by the DSI and found to be legally baseless strongly supports the claims of the Company, its group companies and major shareholders. We will continue to seek compensation for the damages that the Company, its group companies and shareholders suffered as a result of the wrongful and abusive prosecution of JTA, the J Trust Group and its directors in countries around the world. This final non-prosecution order will assist the Company in court to obtain damages from JTA for their unlawful and abusive legal actions.

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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.”