Chatime Offers Help to Tealive Outlets, Staff

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The decision to allow affected outlets to return and re-operate under Chatime was made due to overwhelming requests.

Chatime Malaysia has offered to re-employ staff who may be affected by a court decision expected to lead to the closure of Tealive outlets.

Aliza Ali, group managing director of Chatime Malaysia, said although they were pleased with the court decision, Chatime was mindful of the repercussions it would have on the livelihood of employees and outlet owners.

She said they and the customers would be directly affected by the injunction order obtained by Chatime Taiwanese owner La Kaffa International Co Ltd.

“Within the scope allowed by the relevant laws, we would welcome former Chatime franchisees and employees, who have been affected by the whole ordeal, to contact us should they require assistance from us,” Aliza said in statement.

“Our decision to allow those affected outlets to return and re-operate under Chatime is made in regards to the overwhelming requests in light of the recent injunction granted by the court.

“Our doors are open to the employees and outlet owners who have found themselves in this precarious position today. They are our priority at the moment.”

There are reported to be 161 Tealive outlets in Malaysia.

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On Wednesday, the Court of Appeal rejected an application for a stay by Tealive’s Loob Holding Sdn Bhd following an injunction granted in favour of La Kaffa on June 27.

Loob’s application, filed a day after the Court of Appeal’s ruling on the interim injunction, was rejected on grounds that the company had breached various contractual and legal obligations to La Kaffa.

These were related to Malaysia’s franchise law and thereby prohibited Loob Holding from operating Tealive as a competing business to Chatime for a period of two years in Malaysia in accordance with the law, Aliza said.

“We praise the decision made by the court and we strongly believe that this verdict will reflect Malaysia’s justice system on a positive note, strengthening confidence for more international franchisors to build trade ties in the country.”

Meanwhile, Loob Holding said on Wednesday that it was hoping to maintain the status quo in running its Tealive business pending an appeal to the Federal Court.

“We have instructed our lawyers to seek leave to appeal to the Federal Court against the Court of Appeal’s decision and the leave application was filed yesterday.”

However, Loob Holding’s statement did not specify whether it would adhere to the injunction order to stop its business, pending the apex court’s leave hearing. – FMT