Kro's Nest drama unfolds

May 15, 2010 | Posted by Chris

Troubles have arisen at the Kro's Nest in Beijing, a chain of pizza restuarants popular with the expatriate community here, as the company's co-founding partners have entered into a public dispute, Damjan DeNoble writes on the china/divide blog. Founded 5 years ago, the Kro's Nest company has grown rapidly to include restaurants at the Worker's Stadium, Beijing University, and a third near Beijing Normal University, in addition to 4 Tube Station sandwich shops. The dispute, which centers on Norwegian-American Kro Bauer and his local Chinese partner Yuan Jie, is being called "a classic cautionary tale" about doing business in China: it appears that the partners did not legally formalize their relationship and one has made an effort to push out the other, in this case Kro being pushed out because he's not technically in the company's incorporating documents. Because of hurdles to investing in a joint venture or wholly-owned foreign enterprise in China, it is not uncommon for foreign entrepreneurs to rely on a Chinese business partner to found a local company -- something which Kro seems to have done. Despite the unfortunate turn of events, Kro has recruited a legal team and intends to defend his interests. "It's David fighting Goliath," he said, "but I'm gonna fight this tooth n' nail."

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