China Food

Apply for bankruptcy liquidation, and take action against the joint venture after 8 years of marriage between Suntory and Huiyuan

In the 8th year after the announcement of the joint venture with Huiyuan, the beverage giant famous for “oolong tea” in the domestic market

A court announcement (below) signed on August 3 shows that Suntory (China) Investment Co., Ltd. has applied for bankruptcy liquidation of Huiyuan Suntory (Shanghai) beverage Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as Huiyuan Suntory) on the grounds that Huiyuan Suntory (Shanghai) beverage Co., Ltd. is unable to pay off its due debts and obviously lacks solvency, and a case has been filed.

Huiyuan Suntory is a half joint venture between Suntory and Huiyuan. Previously, the two sides of the joint venture have already filed a lawsuit over the trademark dispute of “oolong tea”. Various signs show that although the joint venture is being applied for bankruptcy liquidation, the shareholders are actually actively deploying their own cup of “oolong tea”.

Let’s take a look at the court’s announcement first.

According to the announcement of the Shanghai Third Intermediate People’s Court ((2022) Hu 03 Po Shen No. 321), according to the provisions of the bankruptcy law, Huiyuan Suntory shall submit to the administrator a statement of property status, a detailed list of debts, a detailed list of creditor’s rights, relevant financial and accounting reports, as well as the payment of employees’ wages and social insurance premiums within 15 days from the date of receiving the ruling on accepting the bankruptcy application; The repayment of debts shall be stopped from the date of acceptance of the case.

In addition, from the date of service of the court’s ruling on accepting the bankruptcy application to the date of the conclusion of the bankruptcy proceedings, Huiyuan Suntory’s legal representative, financial management personnel and other business management personnel must undertake a number of obligations, including not leaving their domicile without the permission of the court; No new directors, supervisors, senior managers, etc. of other enterprises shall be appointed.

According to industrial and commercial data, the legal representative and chairman of Huiyuan Suntory is Saito Hehong, and Zhu Xinli is the vice chairman. In the company, Beijing Huiyuan food and Beverage Co., Ltd. and Suntory (China) Investment Co., Ltd. each account for 50% of the equity, with a registered capital of about US $123 million. The current registration status is existing (in business, in business, on record).

“If you have any objection to the application, you should submit it in writing to the court within seven days after the announcement.”
announcement said: “if no objection is raised within the time limit or the evidence submitted is insufficient to support the objection, the court will rule to accept it according to law.”

Speaking of joint ventures, it has also had “highlight moments”.

In 2014, Suntory announced that it had reached an agreement with Huiyuan Juice Group to establish a joint venture in the beverage business. Suntory China transferred its beverage manufacturing company to Huiyuan. According to the agreement, Suntory granted the joint venture the exclusive license to use the “Suntory” trademark in the Chinese market, and hoped to use the sales channel of Huiyuan juice to expand the sales of Suntory beverages. Previously, Suntory itself “worked alone” in the beverage business in Shanghai and other markets.

According to the goals set by both parties at that time, after the establishment of the joint venture, the beverage products will expand to the national market, and the sales volume is planned to double in two years, that is, 20million bottles per year.

However, the good times are not long. According to a judgment of the Shanghai Intellectual Property Court in March 2020, the joint venture company found in December 2017 that “fake Suntory products produced and sold without its legal authorization” appeared in Shanghai, involving “oolong tea”, “liqu latte” and other brands.


Apply for bankruptcy liquidation, and take action against the joint venture after 8 years of marriage between Suntory and Huiyuan









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