There are 169 outlets run by CPRL in the north and east whose fate will be decided by what the NCLAT directs on Thursday.
Though Vikram Bakshi, the estranged Indian partner of US fast-food chain McDonald’s in their 50:50 joint venture Connaught Plaza Restaurants (CPRL), on Wednesday failed to get any interim relief from the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) on his plea seeking a stay on the termination of the franchise agreement, McDonald’s outlets in the city continued to function normally. This despite the fact that the 15-day notice served by McDonald’s on August 21 upon termination of the agreement with CPRL, which runs the outlets in north and east of the country, came to an end on Tuesday evening.
There are 169 outlets run by CPRL in the north and east whose fate will be decided by what the NCLAT directs on Thursday when it will hear Bakshi’s plea seeking relief. Around 43 outlets had closed since June in the the capital following the expiry of their eating house licences.
On Tuesday, the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) had dismissed Bakshi’s plea challenging the termination of the franchise agreement, asking him to seek relief from the appellate tribunal where the matter is already pending.
Meanwhile, during the day the board of CPRL met with the NCLT-appointed administrator justice GS Singhvi chairing the meeting to decide the future course of action.
In a statement, Bakshi said, “Our appeal in front of NCLAT is to be heard on Thursday. The administrator on the board of CPRL in the board meeting on Wednesday has asked both sides to await NCLAT’s decision on Thursday.” A McDonald’s India spokesperson said, “We are looking to take steps to exercise our legal and contractual rights to enforce the termination.”
The spokesperson had on Tuesday said that CPRL was no longer authorised to use the McDonald’s system and its intellectual property after the expiry of the termination notice.
On Wednesday, Bakshi also said that he has been elected again as managing director of CPRL by Singhvi. “Whilst the NCLT had restored my position as MD from August 6, 2013, in the board meeting on Wednesday I have been elected as MD again for further period,” he said.
McDonald’s and Bakshi have been at loggerheads over control of CPRL since the time the latter was removed as the managing director of CPRL in August 2013. Subsequently, the NCLT on July 13, 2017, reinstated Bakshi as MD while also appointing Singhvi as an administrator on the company’s board. However, McDonald’s went ahead and terminated its franchise agreement with CPRL before a board meeting of the company could take place.
McDonald’s had earlier also scrapped the joint venture agreement with CPRL and dragged the matter to the London Court of International Arbitration.