MANILA, Philippines - Publicly listed AgriNurture Corp. on Wednesday said it will contest a complaint filed by US investor group Global Baristas, which seeks to terminate its use of the "Tully's Coffee" brand in the Philippines.
In a disclosure to the stock exchange, AgriNurture said it has received a notice of a complaint for declatory judgement and injunctive relief filed by Global Baristas against AgriNurture and several Tully's international franchisees in the Superior Court of Washington.
Other companies involved in the complaint include South Korea-based DK Retail Co. Ltd; Nevada-based Tully's Coffee Asia Pacific; Tully's Coffee Asia Pacific Partners and Singapore's Tully's Coffee International.
In the complaint, Global Baristas is seeking to terminate the franchisees' right to use the Tully’s brand and affiliated trade names, trademarks and service marks in Asian countries (excluding Japan) such as South Korea and the Philippines.
"The Company shall vigorously contest the complaint," AgriNurture said.
Tully's Coffee is a smalll coffee chain based in Seattle, Washington.
In the Philippines, AgriNurture has 7 company-owned stores and two franchise stalls in Manila.
AgriNurture had earlier tried to buy Tully's, in a joint bid with coffee giant Starbucks. However, Tully's was sold to Global Baristas, an investment group which was then led by "Grey's Anatomy" star Patrick Dempsey.
Global Baristas acquired Tully’s for $9.2 million, beating the combined offer of $10.6 million by Starbucks and AgriNuture.
Dempsey had severed his ties with Global Baristas last August after a dispute with owner Michael Avenatti.