Tealive Asia to stay open for the time being (Updated)

KUALA LUMPUR: All Tealive stores remain open despite Loob Holding Sdn Bhd failing to get the Court of Appeal's endorsement to stay open, while it appeals an injunction accorded by the Court of Appeal to La Kaffa International Co Ltd.

"Yes, our court case is in the news. We'll maintain status quo pending further direction from the courts," Tealive said in its Facebook and Instagram postings on Saturday.

Loob, in a statement on Thursday, had said it was appealing the stay application ruling by the Court of Appeal in the Federal Court.

In a dissenting judgement, Court of Appeal judge Datuk Rhodzariah Bujang said there were special circumstances in the case that should have been taken into account. She was part of the three-person bench at the Court of Appeal last Thursday.

"It is the undisputed fact that if the injunction is not allowed pending the leave application, all 179 outlets of Tealive Malaysia will have to cease operations. All 1,171 employees working in the outlets would be out of jobs," she said in her judgement.

This scenario is not just a mere "fear of losing business, customers, suppliers and goodwill" but a real ramification from disallowing the stay, she added.

"The hardship and inconvenience will not be just suffered by the respondent being the wrongdoer as found by the court and should not be a valid consideration for granting a stay but to innocent third parties β€” its employees and families which numbered more than a thousand."

In the judgement on Thursday, Datuk Hamid Sultan Abu Backer, who presided over the panel, ruled that there were no special circumstances to stop the injunction order as Loob Holding had not filed to seek leave to the Federal Court.

Tealive was created following a dispute between Loob and La Kaffa last year that saw the Taiwanese franchisor terminate its Chatime master franchisee contract with Loob.

According to one franchisee, they are awaiting a decision for an appeal for the stay application to the Federal Court before deciding on their next course of action.

Tealive franchisee Richie Khaw said it is business as usual at two of its outlets in the Klang Valley, as with all other Tealive outlets.

"If we (Tealive) have to close, then we have to close. We can't go against the court," he said.

Loob's stay application, filed a day after the Court of Appeal's ruling on the interim injunction on June 27, was rejected on the grounds that the company breached various contractual and legal obligations to La Kaffa International Co Ltd, related to its restraint of trade obligations and Malaysia's franchise law.

The ruling by the Court of Appeal prohibits Loob from operating Tealive as a competitor to Chatime for two years in Malaysia in accordance with the law.