Despite the high prices of its devices, it looks like the luxury phone manufacturer Vertu is facing major financial and legal troubles. A report by the UK publication The Telegraph is claiming that the company has not been able to pay its bills to its suppliers. According to the report, the company has yet to pay £2.5 million pounds to Microsoft for its headquarters lease and £420,000 to the property services provider CBRE. Qualcomm and Acora are also among the companies that Vertu has not paid properly to. The new owners of the company claim that it has been going on for more than a year, and they are now paying the suppliers on time. However, recent reports claiming that Vertu’s suppliers will soon take action seem to disagree with the management’s statements.
Vertu is also having problems meeting its financial obligations with its employees. According to a grievance letter submitted by the company’s staff, the manufacturer has failed to pay the salary of at least 200 of its employees. In addition, Vertu employees are claiming that their employer has been deducting pension contribution from their wages but they have yet to see these contributions reflected in the company’s pension scheme. It is estimated that the total amount of wage deductions that have yet to be remitted to the pension fund to reach hundreds of thousands of pound. The staff has yet to receive a response regarding the issue of wage deductions but Uzan’s lawyers mentioned that salaries of the Vertu employees are not yet overdue.
Aside from all the financial troubles that Vertu is facing, there are actually questions on whether Uzan’s group truly owns the manufacturer. Gary Chen, the previous owner of Vertu, is claiming that Uzan’s group has yet to compensate him for the Vertu shares that he sold to the new owners. While Chen received a screenshot of a bank transfer supposedly for the payment of shares, he mentioned that the bank did not receive the said fund transfer from Uzan. In response to the potential lawsuit from Chen, the lawyers for the new owners of Vertu will file a counter-lawsuit against him regarding the unlawful use of company assets.